Snow leopard poachers in central Asia will soon have a new enemy: better trained park rangers and eagle-eyed members of the general public. It’s all thanks to an aggressive new program headed up by the Snow Leopard Trust and the government of Kyrgyzstan.
Worldwide, only about 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards remain in the wild today. For some time now, those seeking to stop poachers from preying on the iconic big cat in Kyrgyzstan faced serious problems. Park rangers there lack funds and resources to do their jobs effectively.
Worse, the poachers they’re fighting are often influential businessmen, politicians and other outside interlopers who are difficult to deal with. A project called the Citizen Ranger Wildlife Protection Program (CRWPP) aims to level the playing field.
The keys to the program are incentives: money and recognition. When park rangers, local citizens or other community members apprehend poachers and report and file…
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