India: decrease in human-wildlife conflicts
NABU awards the High Asia Habitat Fund with the Snow Leopard Award 2022
Award ceremony at the NABU branch, Bishkek
October 23, 2022 - On International Snow Leopard Day, Tolkunbek Asykulov is awarding the NABU Snow Leopard Award to Behzad Larry, Director of the High Asia Habitat Fund (HAHF). Tolkunbek, Director of NABU Kyrgyzstan, invited him to the award ceremony at the NABU office in Bishkek. The conservation organization is mainly involved in constructing snow leopard-proof corrals in Ladakh, India. These help to protect livestock from attacks by snow leopards and reducing human-wildlife conflicts. So we say: Thank you for your work and congratulations, HAHF!
Ladakh, India - Only about 300 snow leopards still live in the rough Indian Himalayan Region. They share their habitat with humans. Due to the proximity to the cattle herds, serious conflicts occur again and again.
The conservation organization High Asia Habitat Fund (HAHF), founded in 2020, has already done excellent work to protect the endangered snow leopard and has produced tangible results. In particular, the construction of predator-proof corrals in the Indian region of Ladakh has made an important contribution to protecting the rare big cat and the livelihoods of local communities. After all, if a snow leopard gets into a corral with no escape route for sheep and goats, the damage can be disastrous.
Human-wildlife conflicts between the local population and the endangered snow leopard are especially problematic in densely populated regions. Especially the deminishing of their natural habitats and the lack of prey animals force snow leopards to approach human settlements.
In Eastern Ladakh, all the members of the community have been affected by the attacks of snow leopards and other predators. For many, their sheep and goats are their only means of subsistence, and they have tried to protect them with preventive or retaliatory attacks on snow leopards.The High Asia Habitat Fund prevents this dilemma and supports the community with material and labour for the construction of secure stock enclosures and training, for example explaining how to apply for compensation from the state. In recent years there has been a noticeable drop in human-wildlife conflicts in Ladakh. Thanks to the commitment of the High Asia Habitat Fund, human-wildlife conflicts in Ladakh have noticeably decreased in recent years.
The NABU Snow Leopard Award is an honour for us and an affirmation of our work. Our aim is to ensure that the local population sees coexistence with predators such as the snow leopard not as a danger, but as something positive. Support from organizations like NABU is crucial for us, enabling us to expand our work to other regions in Central Asia. We look forward to working with NABU in future.
Behzad Larry, Director of the High Asia Habitat Fund
The NABU Snow Leopard Award
Since 2018, the NABU Snow Leopard Award is presented annually to individuals and organizations that have shown exceptional commitment to protect the endangered big cat and its habitat. The prestigious award is endowed with 5,000 Euros. On the International Snow Leopard Day, October 23, 2022, HAHF was declared the award winner of 2022. In previous years, the award went to Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization (BWCDO), the former President of Kyrgyzstan Rosa Otunbajewa, the Tajik NGO Burgut and the former ambassador of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan in Germany Erines Otorbaev.
Thanks to the Baltistan Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization, human-wildlife conflicts decreased and the snow leopard population stabilized in northern Pakistan. The NABU Snow Leopard Award 2021 goes to the members of the NGO. Well deserved! more →