“I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the poacher’s shoes” says Dr Tom McCarthy, Panthera’s Director of Snow Leopard Programs in a fascinating webinar called “The Science behind saving Central Asia’s Mountain Ghost”. Tom was talking about conservation programs where villagers promise not to harm snow leopards in return for support with selling crafts. A poacher did kill a cat in one village and the women lost their bonus and were furious with the poacher.
This is an hour long talk and worth ever minute of listening as Tom goes through a huge amount of information about snow leopards, their habitat, the threats facing them and the first ever long term study on snow leopards in Mongolia. “We do a lot of listening to people in snow leopard areas and there is no cookie cutter approach to this . What will work in Mongolia might not work in Pakistan or Bhutan.”
One of the most fascinating topics is the way the Mongolia program now traps snow leopards to put collars on them and the technology that alerts the researchers so the time the cats spend in the snare is very short compared to years ago.