The community-based conservancies are safe havens for a variety of wildlife including snow leopards, Turkestan lynx, Tien Shan brown bear, wolves, small carnivores, golden eagles, vultures, and mountain ungulates. Most conservancy areas are only assigned for wildlife management while some areas are leased for land-use by the small businesses. In both cases, community members seek ways to use the lands sustainably, whether through livestock grazing, fuel collection, etc.. In this way, they not only protect wildlife but also contribute to the preservation of its vulnerable ecosystems.
Community-based conservancies contribute substantially to the conservation of snow leopards. Snow leopards kill mountain ungulates and can thus be perceived as being harmful to the sport hunting opportunities in the conservancies. But the approach of hunting management and quota setting is to harvest only a small portion of the animals, minimizing the hunting impact on the populations and allowing for natural selection to take place through hunting by wild carnivores. Natural selection by snow leopards keeps ungulate populations healthy and supports functional ecosystems. The presence of snow leopards indicates a healthy population of ungulates, which further benefits environmental tourism and the natural heritage of the local communities. For these reasons all members and partners of H&CAT have agreed not only to tolerate snow leopards, but to actively support their protection and monitoring.
The major threats for the survival of snow leopards are the depletion of their prey species, poaching, and retaliatory killing from livestock owners. These threats are addressed by H&CAT within the conservancies and in other areas. Poaching of snow leopards is prevented by the rangers of the conservancies. Local informants assist in capturing poachers while leg hold traps and snares are collected and confiscated. H&CAT informs livestock owners and herders how best to avoid livestock losses to snow leopards and other predators. One of the most effective tactics has been constructing corrals predator proof to prevent the carnivores from entering and killing the livestock.
For a number of years, snow leopards have been monitored with the help of automatic cameras and the analysis of genetic material from fecal samples. In these activities, H&CAT is supported by other organizations such as Panthera and NABU.