And you thought they were just big hairy cows!
[There are] yaks [male yak], naks [female yak], cow-hybrids [cow x yak], cows and zopkyos [ox x nak]. Most of the households own livestock, primarily yaks and cow-hyrbids. Cow-hybrids are used for milk, and yaks and hybrids are used for transportation. Yaks and naks are also used for wool. Continue reading
It’s a rich man’s world. At least it seems that way if snow leopards have eaten your livestock and your’re not getting compensated by those you think have all the money.
50% of the people like…[the park authority]…,50% of the people don’t like it. There is a lot of budget with…[them]…and the locals don’t see it being utilised well and therefore the many locals don’t like…[the park authority]. They perceive that the entrance fee goes to staff salaries. Re: the compensation scheme, people think it’s unnecessary to insure as the…[compensation]…is so small. [Nearby]…4 herders didn’t get any compensation from the insurance scheme so they became angry and the scheme is not working there. Continue reading
The mixed blessings of new roads and increasing tourist numbers for Himalayan communities.
# Interview 1
There are bigger problems than snow leopard conservation. The…[park]…is being ruined by roads and pollution – tourism is the main livelihood and…[the park authority]…does nothing. Soon nobody will come to trek except the Israelis who want everything for free. Continue reading
Snow leopards: it seems you either love ’em or hate ’em, or are maybe somewhere in-between. The quotes of the day…
# Interview 1
The locals are happy with the measures as they understand conservation now, its only the ban of killing the snow leopard they don’t understand as the animal is troubling local people a lot. The only conflict is the ‘no kill’ rule – why can’t they kill it? – their livelihood is derived from livestock which the leopard kills. What can they do? Why is…[the park authority]…protecting it? Punishment for killing snow leopard is 5 years in jail and 100,000 rupees [US$ 1,000] fine. Continue reading
The quotes of the day: an alleged new talent to add to the snow leopard’s considerable tally, but one without any known biological basis.
# Interview 1
It has happened a farmer has 10 goats – worth 20,000 rupees [US$ 200] each. The leopard kills the whole herd and sucks the blood – 200,000 rupees [US$ 2,000] loss. You are very lucky if you get 20,000 rupees [US$ 200] from…[the park management]…as total compensation.
# Interview 2
Last year 3 of her cows were eaten by the snow leopard in her in-house shed. It’s only been recently the snow leopard is ascending into the villages [from higher altitudes]. One household lost 8 goats to the snow leopard in the last 12 months, the…[snow leopard]…only drinks the blood and leaves the animal.
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
Two months on from finishing fieldwork, the snow leopard conservation journey continues.
The Himalayas may be thousands of miles from where I sit writing this, but their epic proportions feel much closer to home. That’s because the mountains that I’ve been working amongst over the last two months are not physical entities but mountains of data. With over 700 household questionnaires and 70 interviews collected there’s a lot of information to be sifted through and checked. I’ve just spent three weeks, for example, going through around 15,000 responses to open questions – were the respondent can say whatever they want rather than picking predetermined answers – and putting them in relevant categories. Only now am I ready to start analysing this data with statistics. Continue reading
How people in Annapurna Conservation Area think about and feel towards the snow leopard.
In the ‘voices of those who matter‘ we looked at how people in Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) felt about the snow leopard. In this blog we do the same with the 500-plus people we’ve talked to in our other study site: Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) After all, these are the people who live alongside the snow leopard day-in, day-out. Their views of of the species are often shaped by practical experiences of losing livestock or via their religion, rather than through the comfortable lens of zoological collections or wildlife documentaries. But like people everywhere, their opinions are diverse, multifaceted and important. Continue reading
A blow-by-blow account of a week spent in the restricted NarPhu valley searching for snow leopards and their calling cards.
Start: Koto 2600m
Finish: Mehta 3560m
Net altitude gain: 960m
Journey time: 8 hours 45 minutes
Armed to the teeth with permits, we were let into the valley by the police without any problems. Immediately a different world: no tourists, no road, hardly any litter. The river gorge we followed was incredible – 1,000m/3,300ft rock walls towering over us on both sides, the sky a sliver of light far above. Sore neck from continually gaping upwards. Below the narrow path a sharp fall to certain death in the ferocious Naar khola (river). Exhausting walk. Out like a light. Continue reading
Tags: Annapurna, Conservation, Hiking, Himalayas, Nar, Nepal, Phu, Research, Shangri La, Snow leopard, Tibet
The worst hotel in town happens to be the only hotel in town. Expect fireworks.
A tired and hungry bunch of snow leopard researchers arrive at their accommodation after seven hours of exhausting hiking in the baking sun. What they don’t realise is that they have arrived at the NarPhu valley’s version of Fawlty Towers, staffed by the venerable manager (let’s call him Basil) and his hapless assistant (let’s call him Manuel). The scene is set for a memorable stay.