Charu Mishra, The Snow Leopard Trust’s Science & Conservation Director, shares a powerful and personal story about how his early experiences in India’s Spiti Valley have shaped his views on wildlife conservation in partnership with local communities.
Our team in India is embarking on an ambitious project along with the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh: Estimating the total snow leopard population of this mountainous Indian state.
Aspiring conservationist and photographer Udayan Rao Pawar recently returned from Ladakh, where he had volunteered in snow leopard research projects run by our local partner, NCF. He reflects on his experiences and shares an unforgettable encounter with the magnificent cat.
Livestock kills by snow leopards are a part of everyday life for many herder communities in Asia’s mountains. The financial impact on these families can be devastating, and retaliation against the cat is commonplace. But the Snow Leopard Trust’s innovative, community-run livestock insurance program is breaking this vicious cycle.
Data from camera traps and GPS collars show endangered snow leopards dispersing to distant mountain ranges across stretches of deserted steppe, swimming across streams and rivers considered impossible to cross, and freely passing country borders.
India team finds snow leopards and a healthy population of prey in a stretch of the Himalayas that hadn’t been surveyed before. Camera trap images also reveal brown bears, leopard cats, jungle cats and macaques.
A conservation catch 22: Increasing the number wild prey animals is key for healthy snow leopard populations. But it doesn’t solve the problem of livestock predation – on the contrary.
Follow one Indian snow leopard family through five years of camera trap images.
When snow leopards attack livestock, conflicts with local communities are usually inevitable – and they don’t often end well for the cats! But many of these attacks can be prevented with a simple solution – predator-proof corrals and holding pens for sheep and goats!
The community of Hemiya joins our livestock insurance program, and agrees to set aside a grazing-free reserve for wildlife.