#CameraTrapTuesday is upon us once again! It may be just 30 seconds long, but this camera trap footage of endangered snow leopards in Naryn, Kyrgyzstan is extremely exciting. With an estimated four to seven thousand snow leopards left in the world, the future of this flagship species is uncertain at best ... and any clues about their whereabouts is great for conservation!

Despite the fact that snow leopards inhabit some of the harshest habitats in Asia, their survival still hinges on an uneasy relationship with humans. Poaching, habitat loss from excessive livestock grazing and conflict with mountain herders remain their biggest threats.   

As part of an ongoing effort to monitor predator numbers and reduce human-wildlife conflict across Asia, conservation group Panthera's Snow Leopard Conservation Program is supporting a multi-carnivore study focused on camera trapping and radio collaring snow leopards in the Naryn State Nature Reserve – a project that hits close to home, as it was Panthera's vice president, George Schaller, who captured the first known photograph of a snow leopard in the early 1970s!

Deploying the cameras will provide a much-needed window into the movements, den locations and behaviour of these elusive 'ghost cats' as they move across their home range ... but it isn't the only thing Panthera is doing to save them. Chief scientist Dr Tom McCarthy advocates for a multi-pronged conservation approach, which he considers the only way to secure the future of the species. Both he and Panthera are working closely with communities in five of the 12 known snow leopard countries to establish community-based wildlife conservancies and anti-poaching activities. "We expect to expand over the next few years to engage all 12 snow leopard range states," says Panthera. "...There is still a chance to pull this species back from its current decline."  

Want to support the Snow Leopard Conservation Programme? You can make a donation (100 percent of which goes to field work costs!) here.

Top header image: Tomosuke214/Flickr