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Nepal loses snow leopard conservationist

Sad passing of Dr Pralad Yonzon, founder of the Resource Himalaya Foundation. Photo ESC Nepal.

Himalayan conservationists are mourning the untimely death of Dr. Pralad Yonzon of Nepal , the founder of Resources Himalaya Foundation, and the team leader of Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH).  Dr Yonzon was a Fullbright scholar and designed many protected areas in the fragile Himalayas.  In a 2005 interview he spoke of his snow leopard work in Bhutan. “I usually do wildlife survey and design national parks. Design in the sense, we are trying to see whether the range allocated for wildlife is good enough or not. We did the survey for tigers and snow leopards in Bhutan. In Nepal, you cannot think of tigers and snow leopards in one national park, but in Bhutan you do.”

Dr Yonzon, was a keen champion of snow leopard conservation throughout his long career and he was also the primary author of Nepal’s first Snow Leopard Action Plan in 2003.

As well as his research on wildlife in the Himalayan region, Dr. Pralad Yonzon was also the first president of the Society for Conservation Biology – Asia Section.

He described the work of the Resources Himalaya Foundation as, “we are outspoken and we want the coming generations to know 30 years, 100 years later, that there were a bunch of people who spoke at that time and they knew what they were talking about; that they were intelligent, experts and they knew about their land and people.”

Dr Tom McCarthy of  Panthera said in a message to the Snow Leopard Network “Dr Yonzon will be sorely missed by his many colleagues and friends.”

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