Fifty shades of yak

 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

Mixed signals

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

Vampire brats

 

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 Killing Fields of the Himalaya

Maurice recounts the worrying level of predation by snow leopards in SNP 

We look at each other and shake our heads.

It is an outrageous claim…but what if its true? That would be worrying to say the least.

Rinzin and I are sat in the home of the Chairman of the Buffer Zone User Group Committee. He nods, as if to back up his statement. Continue reading

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