Snow Leopard Conservation: Tales From the Top of the World


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  • Most countries have established national parks; PA’s protect only small portion of pop – most cats outside parks where more heavily hunted: need people’s participation in conservation
  • Discover: what are they doing well? What can we improve on? Dream: What could the future be like? Design
  • Ladakh’s main tourist trekking circuit – 5,000 visitors per year 3 months of summer Eco-friendly technology Experience-based planning (what sells best, profitability, information through signage)
  • Combining cultural, ecological and social values and assets Assumptions: Communities wish to participate; Culture is dynamic and changes; Cultural, natural and social values are linked, e.g. snow leopard Cultural and ecotourism examples; Focus on small-scale operations; Tourism income’s role varies; Poverty reduction focus; Conservation objectives
  • This is something I’ve been thinking about for some time, especially since meeting
  • One day Norbu participated in an important ceremony of unity for the community. As he drove away from the sacred meeting site, suddenly a snow leopard appeared beside the road. For an hour the leopard jumped from rock to rock, revealing herself as golden-furred in one moment and blue in the next. When finally she disappeared over the ridge with a wave of her tail, Norbu knew that Snow Leopard was thanking the Soyot community and affirming their ceremony
  • Mother sl was poached, leaving cub helpless
  • Snow Leopard Conservation: Tales From the Top of the World

    1. 1. Tales from the Top of the World Rodney Jackson Snow Leopard Conservancy
    2. 2. Tales from the Top of the World Introduction by Dr. Don Moore Smithsonian’s National Zoo
    3. 3. Partnering with local people to advance community based stewardship of snow leopards Tales from the Top of the World Rodney Jackson Snow Leopard Conservancy
    4. 4. First Photograph of a Wild Snow Leopard Pakistan, 1972 George B. Schaller
    5. 6. Snow leopards Adaptations for high mountain life <ul><li>Long tail for balance </li></ul><ul><li>Large, padded forepaws & strong chest </li></ul><ul><li>Luxuriant fur </li></ul><ul><li>Enlarged nasal passage & high red blood cell count </li></ul>
    6. 7. What is the Current Status of Snow Leopards? <ul><li>Shy, elusive, rarely sighted </li></ul><ul><li>Only 3,500-7,000(?) left in wild </li></ul><ul><li>Endangered across its 12 range countries range </li></ul>
    7. 9. Sacred Hermitage, Lapche, Nepal
    8. 10. Ger in Tost Uul, South Gobi
    9. 11. Bactrian Camels Gansu Province, China Great Gobi National Park, Mongolia
    10. 12. Winter – best time for studying snow leopards
    11. 13. National Parks & Other Protected Areas Critical Habitat for Snow Leopards Mt Amadablam (with Mt. Everest in background) Sagarmatha NP, Nepal Skyu-Kaya in Hemis NP, Ladakh (India)
    12. 14. Primary Threats -- poaching for profit or retribution West Nepal 1976
    13. 15. Photo: NGS
    14. 16. Widespread poaching of wildlife
    15. 17. Snow Leopards Need Good Natural Prey Base
    16. 18. Worst Case Scenario Multiple livestock losses from poorly constructed pens
    17. 19. SLC’s Conservation Strategy <ul><li>Change local perception of snow leopard as a pest </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Foster community-based stewardship of snow leopards, prey & habitat at the landscape level </li></ul>
    18. 21. <ul><li>DISCOVER </li></ul><ul><li>DREAM </li></ul><ul><li>DESIGN </li></ul><ul><li>DELIVER </li></ul>The 4 “D’s” Community planning from the bottom up What you seek is what you will find What you believe in -- and act on – will matter most
    19. 22. Typical Planning Exercise : Ranking of Mortality Sources (Participants don’t need to know how to read or write)
    20. 23. Simple Tools to Visualize the Future Contrasting communities - harmony or conflict? poster shows different scenarios & stimulates debate Livestock husbandry poster commissioned in the style of traditional Buddhist monastery art
    21. 24. Eliminate catastrophic livestock losses by predator-proofing night-time corrals Photo Steve Winter NGS Each community corral project protects 5+ snow leopards from poisoning or other retributive killing Direct Cost: $800 - $2,000
    22. 25. Participatory Planning Achieves Better Results Poorly-designed & unused corral at base of cliff -- result of top-down planning <ul><li>Values indigenous knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Involve all in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Foster community pride, resilience & self-sufficiency </li></ul>
    23. 26. Pamir Mountains,Tajikistan Qomolangma Nature Preserve, Tibet
    24. 27. Profitable & Environmentally Friendly Parachute Cafés Help Save Snow Leopards Solar-cooker for safe drinking water….saving scarce fuelwood
    25. 28. Himalayan Homestays Experience Traditional Life in a Himalayan Village Rumbak Village Hemis National Park, Ladakh
    26. 29. How villagers use extra income from Homestays <ul><li>Send children to school in Leh </li></ul><ul><li>Re-invest in homestays & parachute cafes (furniture, solar showers, more items for sale) </li></ul><ul><li>Plant trees & fodder to reduce grazing in wildlife areas </li></ul><ul><li>Village clean-up campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Village Conservation Fund (contribute 10-15% of revenues) </li></ul>
    27. 31. Before, snow leopards were a despised predator But now, thanks to SLC … Snow leopards & other wildlife are like a necklace around our mountains . Comment by villager to Rinchen Wangchuk, SLC India Director
    28. 32. Photo: Som Ale
    29. 34. Kids’ reader “My Grandmother Says” now in five languages (including Tibetan Braille)
    30. 35. Meeting with His Holiness, the 14 th Dalai Lama National Geographic Forum of Conservationists 2006 Photo: NGS
    31. 36. Merging the world of facts & figures with the spirit world
    32. 37. Petroglyphs throughout Siberia’s Altai-Sayan Ecoregion record messages from ancestors
    33. 38. Russia’s Gorno-Altay Republic & Southern Siberia
    34. 39. The Soyot Spiritual Protector Monument at Sacred Waterfall
    35. 40. Welcoming Ceremony Soyot Community Eastern Sayan Mountains, Siberia
    36. 41. Norbu Buddhist Lama & Soyot Sharman
    37. 42. Kosh Agash School Play May 2010 Snow Leopard Festival Altai Mountains
    38. 43. Argut River Nature Park
    39. 44. Snow leopards in Tuva - Alexander Kuksin Camera Trap Training, Gorno-Altai, August 2010
    40. 45. <ul><li>Snow Leopard Video loading…. </li></ul>Hemis National Park, India - 2004
    41. 46. The Story of Togoldor in Mongolia’s Baga Bogd Mountain
    42. 50. Togoldor’s Travels … video loading…
    43. 53. Non-invasive Genetic Surveys
    44. 54. Scat Survey Sites in Mongolia Gurvansaikhan National Park – 17 snow leopards detected (10 ♂ 7 ♀ along 66.9 km of transects) 867 scats collected to date Russia China
    45. 55. Remote camera photos taken by villagers in Northern Pakistan
    46. 56. Camera-trap Self Portraits
    47. 57. 1 (behind Mom) 2 3
    48. 58. National Geographic Magazine - June 2008
    49. 59. PBS Nature Series (2006) - Silent Roar
    50. 60. Special Thanks to: American Himalayan Foundation Australian Himalayan Foundation CGMK Foundation Calgary Zoological Society Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund National Geographic Society Omidyar Foundation S eaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund San Francisco Zoological Society Shared Earth Foundation The Christensen Fund Wild Cat Education & Conservation Fund Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN) And supporters like you… Visit