Checking in with our field teams
Like many of you, in order to ensure the safety of ourselves and our communities, we are all finding ourselves adjusting to new recommendations and protocols of remaining home. Normally, many of our field staff are often in remote, mountainous, snow leopard habitat for long stretches of the year without access to regular communications channels. So we thought it would be a good opportunity to check in with them and share some of the important work they are doing to protect snow leopards.
We will be hosting Live Events on our Facebook page where we will be talking with some of our snow leopard experts about the conservation work that they do. These live sessions will be geared towards families who may be looking for some science content to add to their homeschool routines, but they are really for anyone who wants to learn about snow leopards, their habitat, and what is being done to protect them.
Women in Conservation
Our first Snow Leopard Live Chat features Dr. Justine Shanti Alexander. Justine is a conservation scientist working as the Regional Ecologist for the Snow Leopard Trust. She is also the Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Network. Her work over the last nine years has been dedicated to building snow leopard science and strengthening conservation action across the range. Justine completed her PhD on snow leopard population assessments in China. She now supports research and community conservation programs across the snow leopard range countries, including China, Kyrgyzstan, India, Mongolia and Pakistan. Justine’s vision is the harmonious and sustainable co-existence of large mammals and humans in Central Asia.
Technology in the Field
Our second chat features Senior Regional Ecologist Dr. Koustubh Sharma. Koustubh has been involved in active research and conservation for 17 years. He obtained his PhD in Wildlife Zoology from the University of Mumbai in 2006 after pursuing his Masters in Physics in 2001. Koustubh has worked with the Snow Leopard Trust as a Senior Regional Ecologist since 2007, and since 2014, has taken additional charge as the International Coordinator of the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystems Protection Program (GSLEP). As Senior Regional Ecologist, Koustubh assists in field research, data analysis, and conservation and training programs across several countries. His academic interests lie in quantitative ecology, conservation biology, and ecological modeling.
When he’s not diving into data, Koustubh likes to delve into his artistic side, and even illustrated many of the activity pages that can be found on our website. You may have even seen Koustubh on TV in the latest Microsoft AI commercial.
One Thousand & Three Hundred Nights in the Gobi
Our third chat in the series features Senior Scientist Dr. Örjan Johansson. Örjan’s groundbreaking work on snow leopard biology and behavior has led to novel insights into the ecology of this elusive cat. This information not only helps us better understand snow leopards but also allows conservation actions to be more efficient. Now, after over ten years of field work and more than 1,300 nights spent in the Gobi Desert, this pioneering scientist has led our team in collaring 32 individual snow leopards. Designing more efficient and animal friendly capture techniques lies at the heart of his field engagement. If you would like more information on our GPS-collaring practices, please visit our FAQ page.
Looking for more snow leopard activities & resources?
Head over to our new Activities Page to find coloring sheets, a spot the snow leopard activity, an animated video from Japan, a word search, and more! There is even an activity to build and install your very own camera trap in your home just as we do in the wild.