Snow leopards have found an unlikely ally in Russia

The World Wildlife Fund turned to the country’s ex-poachers to help improve snow leopard monitoring.

Snow leopards have been reclassified from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species – and it is partially down to the efforts of people who once hunted them.

A World Wildlife Fund (WWF) project, instead of discouraging hunters, have utilised their knowledge of the animal’s movements and trap-setting abilities, to monitor snow leopard populations in the Sailugemsky National Park in Russia.

Since the program launched in 2015, the population of these rare felines have stabilised and even improved in some regions in Russia.

The WWF now hopes to implement such initiatives in neighbouring countries like Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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