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Премия рунета 2017

Snow Leopard Ski Marathon in the Heart of Asia

19 march 2019
WWF and sportsmen call for snow leopard conservation

Ski for snow leopard conservation in Tyva! It was the slogan of the Snow Leopard Marathon hold om March, 16 in the Republic of Tyva, Russia, in Tyva Nature Park. The region is both the very heart of the snow leopard habitat and the Heart of Asia. The marathon is the idea of WWF Altai-Sayan Programme, conservation and sport organizations of the region.

In 2018 the marathon was hold for the second time and brought together 95 participants from three Siberian regions to ski in and call for snow leopard conservation. Prior to the event WWF installed the mobile photoexhibitions “Spotted Treasure” in the main square of Kyzyl city, the capital of the Republic of Tyva. Key snow leopard experts and sportsmen came together for a workshop to discuss threats and opportunities for the species in the region. 

Snow Leopard Ski Marathon
(c) WWF
“Snow leopard is the ideal symbol of the winter sport marathon as this animal inhabits the coldest mountain terrain with thick snow, cold wind and is physically adapted for living in hard conditions. The Republic of Tyva is the home of minimum 30 snow leopards. Poaching and human-wildlife conflict are the main the threats for the rare predator. The future of the snow leopard in Tyva depends directly on the attitude of the local people. That is why WWF tries all possible awareness opportunities to tell, show and raise the positive attitude towards the rare animal among the Tuvinian people”, says Natalya Trofimova, Director of WWF Altai-Sayan programme.

As a part of the official agenda Natalya Trofimova, the Director of WWF Altai-Sayan programme met with Sholban Khopuya, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the First Vice-Head of the Government to discuss the action plan for 2019 including the involvement of local people into conservation, antipoaching activities, public inspection, transboundary cooperation with Mongolia. Later Natalya joined the marathon.

During the marathon all participants could take a picture of fluffy panda, WWF symbol, and the snow leopard WWF made exclusive medals with snow leopard for all winners and participants. Women competed in 30-kilometre-long race, men in 50-km-long race. For juniors the marathon had 20-kilometer-long route and all kids could compete in 500-metre-long distance just to get the participant’s medal. Alexander Kuksin, WWF expert, famous in Russia snow leopard conservation expert, the Vice-Director of Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina Nature Reserve also joined the race. Three skiers formed the specific Snow Leopard team and were dressed in the costumes with snow leopard pattern.

Snow Leopard Ski marathon

“We do hope that Snow Leopard Ski Marathon 2020 will become international and invite everyone to join this great event to promote sport and save the snow leopard”, says Roman Zhukov, the Head of the Federation of Ski Sport in Tyva.
For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer
Head of the Altai-Sayan Ecoregional Office