Proceeds generated from Snow Leopard Wit will directly support the Zoo’s conservation efforts to help Mongolia’s population of snow leopards, an endangered species to be part of Asian Highlands opening at the Zoo in May. Specifically, proceeds from the brew will help support the development of snow leopard protected areas to reduce poaching, mining and unsustainable land development.
Why do snow leopards need our help? These elusive cats are found in 12 countries ranging from the Himalayan Mountains to the south and the Altai mountains in Siberia to the north. Despite the large range, current research estimates the wild population to be between only 2,710 and 3,386 animals. The main threats facing snow leopards include loss of habitat, retaliatory killing from predation on livestock and illegal trade in furs, bones and other body parts.
On a positive note, this species isn’t going unnoticed. Over the last several decades, extensive conservation programs have established new protected areas within the native range and anti-poaching measures. In addition, training, capacity-building and initiatives have also been introduced to reduce conflict with herders, including advancements for livestock management and community engagement programs.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a dedicated member of the snow leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program that works to maintain a genetically stable assurance population of snow leopards in zoos. Research conducted by the Zoo’s nutrition and reproductive physiology departments has provided valuable information to the snow leopard SSP that is helping to improve the care and management of these amazing cats around the world.
In addition to efforts taking place on Zoo grounds, Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium supports the Snow Leopard Trust, an organization working out in the field within snow leopard habitat. Snow Leopard Trust focuses primarily on community education directed toward improving the relationships between herders and big cats by creating incentives for the community to protect snow leopards and their ecosystem. To learn more about Snow Leopard Trust’s mission, visit https://www.snowleopard.org/.
We hope that purchasing Snow Leopard Wit, or any of the beers within the Zoo Brew Series, serves as just a fun first step in forming a connection with these endangered species. Thank you for supporting Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in its mission to Zoo More Good.