Kyrgyzstan has designated the snow leopard as its national symbol

  • Kyrgyzstan, a country in Central Asia, has designated the snow leopard as its national symbol.


HabitatMountainous regions of Central and Southern Asia; in India: western and eastern Himalayas.
Indian Geographical RangeEastern Himalayas (Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh) and Western Himalayas (J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand).
Project Snow Leopard (2009)Aims to improve animal protection at high altitudes in the Himalayas by incorporating local populations.
Conservation StatusIUCN Red List: VulnerableCITES: Appendix IWildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (India): Schedule I
India’s Conservation EffortsThe flagship species for the upper Himalayas.Since 2013, it has been a part of the GSLEP Programme.Himalaya Sanrakshak community development programme (2020).SECURE Himalaya project (GEF-UNDP financed) National Protocol on Snow Leopard Population Assessment (2019).The MoEF&CC has listed 21 severely endangered species for recovery.Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park’s conservation breeding programme.
GSLEP Programme12 snow leopard countries (India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) have formed an inter-governmental alliance to raise awareness about the importance of ecosystems.
Living Himalaya Network InitiativeWWF’s initiative in Bhutan, India (North-East), and Nepal to make a difference in conservation in the Eastern Himalayas.

The Importance of the Snow Leopard

  • The snow leopard represents the health and stability of mountain ecosystems, which encompass a large amount of the world’s land surface.
  • In ancient Kyrgyz culture, the snow leopard was a totem animal associated with the legendary figure Manas.
  • The snow leopard represents the balance between mankind and nature in Chyngyz Aitmatov’s novel “When Mountains Fall.”
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