The Snow Leopard Network hosted our first ever Webinar on 12 May, 2020 and we were thrilled to have 162 people register for the event and 83 live participants on the day. Dr. LuZhi was our guest speaker and she was joined by Dr. Sandro Lovari as discussant.
Dr. LuZhi, Professor of Conservation Science at Peking University and the Executive Director of the Peking University Center for Nature and Society, has over 20 years of experience actively working in conservation issues in China; with a strong focus on community conservation in China’s mountainous areas. LuZhi founded the Shanshui Conservation Center, in 2007, which is a leading civil society organization promoting conservation in China. LuZhi is also the Snow Leopard Network’s Committee Chair and has been a pioneer in snow leopard conservation for over a decade.
We also had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Sandro Lovari as our discussant. Sandro brought knowledge and ideas from other areas of the snow leopard range, and is a distinguished scientist from University of Siena. He is also member of our Snow Leopard Network committee.
LuZhi shared a vivid update on Snow Leopard conservation, seen from the perspective of China’s wider effort on conservation. China is protecting huge areas, (approximately 18% of the countries total land area), as part of reaching its national and international conservation targets.
LuZhi also underlined the vast scale of conservation efforts needed in China for the protection of the snow leopard. For example, similar to other areas of the snow leopard range only 1.7% of the snow leopard range has been monitored through systematic camera trapping. Teams are however coming together, through partnerships such as the Snow Leopard Network-China, in order to cover larger areas and share good practices. Partnerships with governments and the private sector are also helping develop strategies for promoting the co-existence of people and wildlife across high mountain areas.
Ongoing threats to snow leopards that were discussed included, unmanaged feral dog populations, fencing that limit animal movement and lack of conservation capacity across sectors.
Looking ahead LuZhi described her vision for the future, including the arrival of a new generation of young conservationist to meet the challenge of scale.
We thank LuZhi and Sandro for the fascinating discussions. A big thank you to all our members for coming out in such large numbers to attend this first-ever event of the Snow Leopard Network.