A rare success for species conservation

With German help, snow leopard numbers are on the rise again.

Snow leopards are on the IUCN Red List of globally endangered species. The greatest threat they face is from poachers, who hunt the rare animals for their valuable pelts. It was believed that the species had become extinct across broad swathes of Tajikistan. However, photographs taken in the country's first wildlife reserve have revealed that six snow leopards are living there.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been supporting the development of the wildlife reserve in Tajikistan since 2008. Stefan Michel, the German expert on the ground, provides advice to community-based game wardens on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. He was the one who discovered the rare cats.