April 28, 2023 — Conservation X Labs (CXL) is proud to welcome Tanya Rosen as its first Director of Central Asian Programs. As part of establishing CXL’s efforts in Central Asia, Tanya will lead a three-year-long project funded by the National Geographic Society that will bring conservationists from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan together to advance solutions for the conservation of Persian leopards and snow leopards. CXL supports the development innovation ecosystems in critical regions to protect biodiversity and prevent the sixth mass extinction. Central Asia is now the second major geographic focus area, after the Amazon. In the last seven years, CXL programs have supported innovators globally in 68 countries across six continents.
Snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan – Photo by Ilbirs Foundation/UNEP VT Protecting wild cats in Central Asia is a top priority for preventing extinction. The Persian leopard, once widespread throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, is critically endangered and is restricted to small pockets of its range due to habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans. Similarly, the snow leopard is facing extinction due to threats from illegal wildlife trade, habitat degradation, human-wildlife conflict, and loss of prey due to poaching.
Prior to joining CXL, Tanya lived and worked in Central Asia for 12 years, leading snow leopard and Persian leopard conservation programs, among them: as co-founder of the Ilbirs Foundation in Kyrgyzstan; lead of Team Bars Turkmenistan and technical adviser for the UN Environment Programme for the “Vanishing Treasures” and IKI CAMCA project in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. Through the Central Asian Programs, Tanya will build collaborations to advance conservation of imperiled wildlife in the region by strengthening local and regional capacity to effectively protect it and addressing the threats it faces, including by harnessing the technology CXL is developing.