Take their teeth out

The quote of the day from otherwise mind-numbing interview analysis.

Q. Should a population of blue sheep [a species of wild sheep] be translocated/moved to Sagartmatha National Park to reduce snow leopard predation on livestock? Continue reading

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Stairway to heaven

Jonny looks back on his exploratory trip to Nepal in the Autumn of 2013 and sets the scene for his return next week.

In October/November of last year I made my first fieldtrip to Nepal. This one was about setting the scene for the main research trips of 2014, which this blog has been describing. I came to do a practice run with the questionnaire I’d devised, to conduct interviews with locals on a range of background issues relevant to my study, and to check out the areas where the team and I would be collecting data later on: Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park (SNP) and Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA). As my government research permit hadn’t come through by then (or till a lot later – see Hakuna Matata), I wasn’t able to visit SNP. But I had got my research permit from the organisation that operates ACA – the National Trust for Nature Conservation. I flew in to Kathmandu, had meetings with a few big conservation cheeses, bagged the permit and headed for the hills. Continue reading

Oh deer, what can the matter be?

Jonny writes about the snow leopard’s preferred prey in Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park.

Snow leopards are big cats.  Weighing between 35kg/77lbs and 55kg/121lbs, and with an active lifestyle in a cold environment, they need to eat a lot of food to keep them going and keep them warm.  Like all large felines, they tend to catch a big prey animal – like a wild sheep or goat – every couple of days if it’s available, and will often stay near the kill until it’s finished.  A snow leopard killing three sheep-sized animals every two weeks could therefore get through around 75 in a year.  That’s a lot of lamb chops. Continue reading

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