Snow leopards’ return brings hope to remote Afghan region

Snow leopards’ return brings hope to remote Afghan region

In this June 8, 2012, camera trap photo provided by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a snow leopard walks on Pamir mountains in Sarkand valley, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth.
An ariel view of the snow-capped Pamir mountains in the Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
The skins of snow leopards are displayed at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan. In a picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. The leopards range across the snowy mountains of a dozen countries in Central and South Asia, but their numbers had declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
An employee of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society looks for snow leopard in the Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
A protected corral in Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. A unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Snow leopards have benefited from conservation programs going back to 2009, when the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, began building enclosed corrals with mesh roofs to protect the sheep, goats and cows that are the backbone of the local economy.
Employees of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society install a trap to capture snow leopards, in Sarkand village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In a picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
Employees of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society check equipment to see if any snow leopards have been captured, in Sarkand village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. A unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
In this July 2, 2012, camera trap photo provided by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a snow leopard walks on Pamir mountains in Sarkand valley, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth.
Afghan farmer Hassan Beg is in his corral, in Sarkand village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Beg says he lost 22 sheep and goats in one night a few years ago when a snow leopard got into his uncovered corral, but he has since built his own roof over the enclosure using tree branches.
Briton Ashley Vosper, a landscape expert with the World Conservation Society, speaks during an interview with The Associate Press, in Qazideh village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.

Snow leopards’ return brings hope to remote Afghan region

In this June 8, 2012, camera trap photo provided by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a snow leopard walks on Pamir mountains in Sarkand valley, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth.
An ariel view of the snow-capped Pamir mountains in the Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
The skins of snow leopards are displayed at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan. In a picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. The leopards range across the snowy mountains of a dozen countries in Central and South Asia, but their numbers had declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
An employee of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society looks for snow leopard in the Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
A protected corral in Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. A unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Snow leopards have benefited from conservation programs going back to 2009, when the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society, began building enclosed corrals with mesh roofs to protect the sheep, goats and cows that are the backbone of the local economy.
Employees of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society install a trap to capture snow leopards, in Sarkand village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In a picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
Employees of the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society check equipment to see if any snow leopards have been captured, in Sarkand village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. A unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
In this July 2, 2012, camera trap photo provided by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a snow leopard walks on Pamir mountains in Sarkand valley, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth.
Afghan farmer Hassan Beg is in his corral, in Sarkand village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Beg says he lost 22 sheep and goats in one night a few years ago when a snow leopard got into his uncovered corral, but he has since built his own roof over the enclosure using tree branches.
Briton Ashley Vosper, a landscape expert with the World Conservation Society, speaks during an interview with The Associate Press, in Qazideh village, Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, far northeastern Afghanistan. In this picturesque corner of Afghanistan, a unique conservation effort has helped bring the elusive snow leopard back from the brink and given hope to one of the poorest and most isolated communities on earth. Their numbers declined in recent decades as hunters sought their spotted pelts and farmers killed them to protect livestock.
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