WIT Press

Ghosts Of The Mountains: The Role Of Wildlife Conservation In Sustainable Tourism – A Case Study Of Snow Leopard Conservation And Sustainable Tourism In Mongolia


Free (open access)





Page Range

167 - 175




1,261 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. Millican


Mongolia is currently home to 500–1,000 of the estimated 3,500–7,000, approximately one quarter, of snow leopards left in the wild, according to the most recent figures from the Snow Leopard Trust and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Through on-site research and interviews with in-country nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and government officials, the paper will question whether current sustainable tourism in Mongolia has been supported or deterred by efforts in snow leopard conservation.

Snow leopards, often called the “Ghosts of the Mountains”, are rarely seen by tourists to Central Asia. Still, few who travel to Mongolia are unaware of their endangered status. The snow leopards’ rarity and endangered species status has been highly publicized, with snow leopards often central to conservation groups’ public campaigns. Thus, the paper will question what impact sustainable tourism has on snow leopard conservation, and vice versa, in the past decade?

Based on the outcomes of the case study, what are the best practices and lessons learned in this model which could be applied to other developing sustainable tourism projects in relation to wildlife conservation? The author will draw on her background in wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism in East Africa in gathering information, and prescribing potential model replication and methods.


sustainable, tourism, development, snow leopard, Mongolia, wildlife, conservation, resources, Africa