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Our Blog Has Moved!

September 25, 2013

The Snow Leopard Conservancy blog has moved to our website.  Please visit to to stay current with our updates and view our blog history!


Meet Baby “Jackson”!

July 30, 2013


Snow Leopard Conservancy is very proud to introduce Project Survival’s Cat Haven’s 8 week old snow leopard cub, “Jackson”!  Dale Anderson, founder of Project Survival’s Cat Haven, and president Wendy Debbas, chose the  name “Jackson” for this adorable cub in honor of Dr. Rodney Jackson.

Project Survival Cat Haven promotes the conservation and preservation of wild cats in their native habitat by educating visitors and publicizing the work done by Project Survival Cat Conservation Group. Project Survival is engaged in fundraising, including the creation of endowments, to support wild life specialists and educators working in range countries.  Over the years they have been wonderful friends and supporters of Snow Leopard Conservancy, raising funds and awareness for these amazing cats.


Dr. Rodney Jackson, “Jackson”, and Darla Hillard

When Dr. Jackson recevied the phone call from Dale announcing the arrival and naming of “Jackson”, he was a bit at a loss for words.  The following day in an email to Project Survival, Rodney wrote:  “A day later I remain stunned by yesterday’s phone call from Dale. Wow, what a honor to have a real, live snow leopard named after me. As I mumbled to Dale, a 4-legged furry creature is a great “son” to have!”

On Sunday July 28, “Jackson” made his debut during a presention by Rodney Jackson at Safari West. Overnight guests at the wildlife park near Santa Rosa, California were treated to an educational talk about snow leopards in the wild by Dr. Jackson and an introduction of baby “Jackson” by Dale Anderson and Wendy Debbas.


Darla Hillard, “Jackson”, Rodney Jackson, Marie Martinez of Safari West, volunteer Marie Scarpa, Wendy Debbas, and Dale Anderson

Snow Leopard Scouts Environmental Awareness Camp

July 16, 2013


Snow Leopard Scouts in Jomsom- Lower Mustang, Nepal attended an Environmental Awareneses Camp.  During this camp students were educated and trained in a number of fronts related to snow leopard biology, environmental awareness, nature hiking and wildlife observation, prey ecology, and issues related to people-wildlife conflicts.  The participants camped for three full nights, and two full-day field excursions, in the high alpine pasture (Vaprasa-Namu), were made.  Students observed various wildlife including red fox (the intermediate predator), pika and other rodents, and blue sheep.  The program was coordinated by ACAP rangers, conservation education assistant, conservation education teacher, and SLC coordinators.  Among others, the following activities took place–

1. Camera traps:  Learning about remote cameras and installing and monitoring them on strategic locations (snow leopard trails) were made.  Note Snow Leopard Scouts and local herders have been monitoring snow leopards through remote cameras (in three locations) since 2011.  In 2011, the cameras captured three, and in 2012 all three were recaptured along with a cub.  This indicated the snow leopard population in Mustang is thriving.  On 15 May 2013, the camera located in Muktinath captured a new adult individual!  2012/2013 Snow Leopard Scouts have christened the three snow leopards as Mukti, Nilgiri and Tilicho.  The new snow leopard scouts will have opportunity to name the fourth individual.


2. Snow leopard sign-tracking, and blue sheep observation and classification


3. Site characterization along one of the “sing transects” (there are four such transects):  Students were also taught about climate change issues and how one may be able to keep track of climate change on snow leopard habitat.

4. Environmental debate:  Students were grouped into two and they were given relevant materials on snow leopard and other local wildlife species to go through prior to the debate. The discussion and debate took two hours. The aim was to assess their interests and enthusiasm on snow leopard and other local flora and fauna.

5. Nature drawing (stone and sketch paintings) and field-diary writing.


-text and images by Som Ale

Happy Birthday, Ashakiran!

June 6, 2013
Asha-Jerry 6-2012 (2)

Photo by SLC associate, Jerry Roe, in July 2012

Asha at a few weeks old

Asha at a few weeks old

Today we celebrate the 12th birthday of Ashakiran, a snow leopard very dear to our hearts. Asha is a retired ambassador snow leopard with the Wild Cat Education and Conservation Fund in Occidental, California.  During the past 12 years Asha has helped raise over $100,000 in donations for Snow Leopard Conservancy!

Asha1 @ 6 months

Asha at 6 months


Young Asha (photo by Steve Flaherty)


5 year old Asha with Rob Dicely

We are posting these beautiful pictures Ashakiran to wish her a very Happy Birthday and thank her and WCECF  for all they’ve done to raise awareness for the snow leopard and their support of SLC.

Camera Trapping in Nepal

May 31, 2013

Update from Nepal: Snow Leopards Scouts–Camera Trapping

Fifteen students, four teachers, one herder and three Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) staff joined two SLC coordinators on a one-day field excursion to Sakawo, a snow leopard hotspot in high alpine pasture with abundant snow leopard signs.  Here they learned to observe and classify blue sheep as well as identify and characterize snow leopard signs and habitat.  Training was also given on remote camera installation and monitoring. The excursion concluded with environmental games, debates, and information exchange with Conservation Area Management Committee members.


Observing Blue Sheep


Preparing a camera trap for set-up


Group photo

In Upper Mustang snow leopard habitat Bikram Shrestha and Pema Tshering coordinated local herders and students to install five camera traps at sites in different sites in Samdzong, Sakawo (Lomanthang) and Marang. In 2012, one female snow leopard with two cubs were captured in Sawawo, while the camera in Samdzong also captured one image (although barely clear). It was interesting to note the interest and enthusiasm among students to monitor the female with cubs in Sakawo. SLC-Nepal program will help students achieve the snow leopard monitoring for years.


Local herder with a goat


Installing a camera trap

Arts Competition in Nepal

May 28, 2013

Field Update from Nepal: Snow Leopard Scouts Committee Stone Painting and Arts Competition

On 20 April, senior artist, Chhewang Jigmi Lowa – resident of Lomanthang, showed students of the Snow Leopard Scouts Committee how to paint wildlife species on small rocks and stones gathered from local streams. Special care was made to select stones or rocks of appropriate shape, structure, and size that resemble regular paperweights used in offices with the side-objective  to explore the possibility that the painted stones could replace paperweights in local offices. The artist also trained students for regular sketch arts. Students, after the training and exposure, were assigned to paint high altitude wildlife species on stones.  They took part in inter-school arts competition on the theme “Manab- banyajantu bich ko danda newnikaran ko lagi sahakarya garaun (that is, “Joining hands together to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts)”. This theme has been the slogan of the National Wildlife Week (First week, 1-7, of the New Year 2070, Nepali calendar).

Snow Leopard Scouts getting painting lessons

Snow Leopard Scouts getting painting lessons

Snow leopard painting

Snow leopard river stone painting

Twelve students participated on stone painting activity.  They produced 17 different wildlife species on stones. For encouragement, the youth were given small monetary awards.  Sonam Dawa (Lama), Dawa Tshering and Sangbo Gurung received the first, second and third prize respectively, and the rest received the consolation prize. In case of sketch paper painting, 11 students participated. Sonam Dawa (Lama), Tamding Dorje, and Pema Wangchen were awarded with the first, second and third prize, respectively, whereas three students obtained consolation prize. Students wrote travel dairies on their “once-in-a-life-time” experience and feelings.  These writings and contributions are currently being documented and will ultimately find their ways to one of the snow leopard scouts booklets series, for other fellow students, their parents and other peers to learn, judge, and replicate the actions.

River stones recreated into beautiful paperweights

Scouts wtih completed artwork

Snow leopard voted #8 for World’s Favourite Species!

May 24, 2013

Being voted #8 in a contest to find the World’s Favourite Species is nothing to swat a paw at!  ARKive, a project of the charity, Wildscreen, uses the power of wildlife imagery to encourage the protection of the natural world.  To celebrate their 10th birthday they recently ran a campgain on their website in which thousands of people from over  162 countries voted on their favorite species. While  the results show the snow leopard at #8, we here at SLC still think the snow leopard is #1!  Check out their full top 10 list and see who you would  have voted for.