Module 12: Fundamental Statistical Tools

About the course

A good working knowledge of statistics can help you achieve better study designs, choose the correct analytical framework, and present your results in a meaningful way. In conservation, statistics is crucial for making decisions and predictions based on data. Module 12 aims to provide an understanding of fundamental statistical tools, and how to implement them in the widely used R software. All sessions include practical exercises that will help you become familiar with the R language.

    • Session 1

All statistical endeavours start with data. In this session, you will learn how to import your data into the R environment. This will be the perfect opportunity for you to become familiar with the R language, as well as with its basic commands. You will learn about data types most commonly used by ecologists, and the basics of descriptive statistics.

    • Session 2

In this session, we explore in more details the fundamentals of statistical theory. Using built-in datasets in R, you will learn how to identify methods that are most appropriate depending on the data you are working with, as well as essential principles of hypothesis testing.

    • Session 3

Using what we learned in the previous two sessions, we will work through all essential steps involved in data analysis, with a focus on linear regression. This includes the formulation of a hypothesis, data preparation and visualisation, statistical testing, and finally, results interpretation. We will complete two full practical exercises in R using built-in datasets. At the end of this session, you will be split into different groups in order to carry out one final analysis, which will be presented the week after.

    • Session 4

This session will start with presentation of results from the last analysis (see Session 3). The rest of the session will be dedicated to identifying and avoiding common mistakes in data analysis. This will allow us to also discuss issues related to results interpretation, which is essential in the field of conservation science when results may directly inform conservation planning.

Skills you will gain

    • How to organise your data
    • Hypothesis testing
    • Linear regression
    • Interpretation of results
    • How to avoid common mistakes

Meet the Resource Team

Anne Heloise Theo is a marine ecologist working on community ecology and behaviour of reef fish. She is currently a PhD student in the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science.

Guillaume Demare is a PhD candidate at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany. His research currently focuses on the community ecology of West African amphibians.


  • Thursdays June 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th 2021
  • 14:00-16:30 Bishkek time (2.5 hour)

Criteria for participation

  • Snow Leopard Network Member
  • Confirmed availability to attend all the four online seminars of a given module
  • Number of participants is limited to 25

Planned Schedule

  • 2.5 hour online Zoom Seminars take place Thursday of the month, June 2021 at 14:00 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan time.
  • Additional group work, assignments or readings are likely to be organized by the trainers
  • Please note we expect all participants to attend the complete set of Thursday Seminars as they are interconnected and build on each other
  • Details of each specific Seminar topic will be shared approximately 5 days beforehand; including any expected preparations by participants.
  • Please note that all sessions are recorded and then made available online through the SLN youtube channel. By participating in these online sessions you automatically agree to authorise recording of audio and visual content presented during the live event and consent to subsequent use of the recording in the public domain by SLN. If you have any concerns please contact us. 

Deadline for Applications

  • May 26th, 2021. Please note places are limited so please do
    not delay in applying.
  • Register HERE


Session 2: The Photographic Image, Ethics & Storytelling

Module 10

Behzad Larry has spent many years travelling across the snow leopard range capturing the stories of snow leopard individuals and communities. During this session he shares perspectives about using images (of snow leopards, people and landscapes) in communication and raise for discussion a number of very pertinent issues for snow leopard conservation- especially in the world where the image of the snow leopard is becoming so important! 
The session ends with a discussion led by Joanna Van Gruisen on ethics and examples of how conservationists can work towards putting in place safeguards and promoting good practices in the use of images for conservation communication- with a photographers manifesto.  

Session 2.1: The snow leopard image

Session 2.2: The community in images

Session 2.3: The landscape in images

Session 2.4: Photography and ethics

Session 2.5: The Photographer’s Manifesto

Session 3: Communications & Advocacy

Module 10

During Session 3 we explore Communication and Advocacy; how do we move from creating awareness, will to action- and see the change we want! We are pleased to welcome Koustubh Sharma and Matthias Fiechter  for this engaging Session. We also dive into how to use social media as a tool for communication and advocacy. 

Session 3.1: Introduction to Communication and Advocacy

3.2: Snow Leopard Partnerships with private sector & campaign Examples

Session 3.3: Social Media and Communication

Session 4: Conservation Optimism

Conservation Optimism

The study of environmental bright spots (i.e., “instances where science has successfully influenced policy and practice”) can be a crucial tool to help humanity navigate the current environmental challenges it is facing (Cvitanovic & Hobday 2018).

Conservation Optimism‘s mission is to empower researchers and organisations to tell these stories of conservation optimism — large and small — so as to inspire change.

Session 4 of Module 1o

In Session 4 of Module 10, you will get practical tips from the Conservation Optimism team on how to craft your messages using a solutions lens!

They will take you on a deep dive into their Positive Communication Toolkit and will help you identify and avoid the most common communication traps so that you develop solutions-based content in a range of formats. 

Session 4.1: Communication Optimism

Session 4.2: Optimism Exercises

Snow leopards in Nepal: Satellite Telemetry Update

SLN welcomes Samundra Subba and Sheren Shrestha from WWF Nepal in this further update from teams working in Nepal. Orjan Johansson – SLN Steering Committee member and also a specialist on snow leopard collaring- will joins us as facilitator.

About the talks

Ensuring the long term viability of snow leopards (Panthera uncia) across large human dominated landscapes requires an understanding of its spatial ecology and movement behavior. In the first section of the talk, Samundra Subba presents preliminary findings of the first ever GPS telemetry study by the Nepal government in the western and eastern snow leopard landscapes, and supported by WWF. The speakers give insights into what was found regarding the snow leopard’s spatial range and movement patterns, including transboundary travel to India and China.

In a second section, Sheren Shrestha describes how the collaring research is blended with community knowlege to strengthen conservation efforts. While modern science and technology has helped us understand the elusive snow leopards better, many conservation solutions find basis in traditional and community knowledge. Sheren will furthermore outline how their project supports the Nepal government to find solutions that benefit both snow leopards and communities in the Himalayas, with focus on Shey Phoksundo National Park in western Nepal.

Find out more about our speakers HERE.

Exciting addition to Module 10: Conservation Optimism

Conservation Optimism

The study of environmental bright spots (i.e., “instances where science has successfully influenced policy and practice”) can be a crucial tool to help humanity navigate the current environmental challenges it is facing (Cvitanovic & Hobday 2018).

Conservation Optimism‘s mission is to empower researchers and organisations to tell these stories of conservation optimism — large and small — so as to inspire change.

Session 4 of Module 1o

In Session 4 of Module 10, you will get practical tips from the Conservation Optimism team on how to craft your messages using a solutions lens!

They will take you on a deep dive into their Positive Communication Toolkit and will help you identify and avoid the most common communication traps so that you develop solutions-based content in a range of formats. The structure of the workshop will be as followed:

Part 1

  • What is framing and why it matters?
  • Why are you communicating?
  • The values and beliefs underpinning your message
  • Communication traps and how to avoid them
  • Q&A

Part 2

  • Group exercise 1: discuss who you think the audience you’re trying to reach through your research/work is & what are the key outcomes you are hoping to get from reaching out to them.
  • Group exercise 2: Craft a Twitter post targeting the audience you identified earlier to achieve your key outcomes. You will then be feed backing your findings to the rest of the group.


Register to join the Session!

The Snow Leopard Network (SLN) and Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP) are pleased to launch a Snow Leopard Conservation Communication Module. 

We are pleased to invite the Conservation Optimism Team to lead Session 4. Find out more about the module and register before March 25th!

Registration Closed



Модуль 9: Использование программы SMART (Инструмент пространственного мониторинга и отчетности) для управления и мониторинга популяции ирбиса

Snow Leopard Network рада представить своего партнера – Общество сохранения диких животных (WCS) – и предложить вашему вниманию данный семинар, первый на русском языке. Модуль 9 знакомит участников с инструментами для мониторинга популяций диких животных и потенциальных угроз в местах обитания ирбиса. Присоединяйтесь к нам!

О семинаре

Программа SMART (Инструмент пространственного мониторинга и отчетности) быстро стала мировым стандартом в управлении и мониторинге охраны территорий. В настоящее время программа SMART используется на более чем 900 охраняемых территориях в 60 странах по всему миру. Однако в ареале ирбиса данная программа пока применяется ограниченно. Программа SMART использует данные патрулирования в циклах управления, цель которых – поэтапное повышение эффективности рейдов. Программа может помочь в решении проблем, связанных с угрозами ирбису, его видам-жертвам и местообитаниям, а также обеспечить его сохранение. 

Основная цель данного семинара – подробно рассказать о том, как работает программа SMART в контексте адаптивного управления в ареале ирбиса. Основное внимание будет уделено процессу реализации программы на местах (тренинги, встречи, логистика и техническая поддержка).

Михил Хётте из российской программы Общества сохранения диких животных (WCS) будет вести семинар на русском языке и у вас будет время для обсуждений и вопросов.

Даты проведения семинара

  • 1 апреля 2021 г.
  • Четверг 17:30 – 19:30 по бишкекскому времени  

Михил Хётте

Михил имеет степень магистра в экономике и управлении бизнесом, которую он получил в университете Амстердама. Он работал в Голландии в качестве консультанта по вопросам управления в компаниях KMPG и Deloitte & Touche. С 1996 г. он принимает участие в природоохранных проектах на Дальнем Востоке России, с 1997 г. является директором Tigris Foundation (голландская НКО, созданная Михилом в целях сохранения дальневосточного леопарда и амурского тигра), в 2003-2008 гг. – сотрудник Лондонского зоологического общества. С 2006 г. в рамках российской программы Общества сохранения диких животных (WCS) занимается разработкой и внедрением программы SMART (ранее – MIST) для мониторинга и адаптивного управления рейдами. Специалисты WCS оказали содействие во внедрении программы SMART на 7 федеральных ООПТ в ареале амурского тигра и одном управлении охотнадзора на Дальнем Востоке России.

С 2016 г. Михил также работает над проектами SMART в Центральной Азии. Он помогал разрабатывать и внедрять SMART для проведения патрулирования под руководством WCS в ООПТ, созданной для охраны ирбиса в районе Вахан в Афганистане. В 2018 г. Михил провел 5-дневный семинар, посвященный знакомству с программой SMART, для Казахстанской ассоциации сохранения биоразнообразия и других ООПТ и природоохранных организаций. В том же году Михил вместе с Тони Линамом провел 3-дневный ознакомительный семинар по программе SMART в Бишкеке для специалистов из Киргизии, Узбекистана и Монголии. С 2019 г. он оказывает содействие Программе развития ООН и ее партнерам в Узбекистане во внедрении программы SMART на двух пилотных территориях в ареале ирбиса – Чаткальском и Гиссарском заповедниках. Если будет получено финансирование, в этом году Михил начнет свою работу над пилотным проектом по внедрению программы SMART в двух заповедниках в Киргизии, где обитает ирбис.

Заявки на участие в семинаре

  • Прием заявок – до пятницы 26, 2021.
  • Количество участников ограничено, поэтому не откладывайте подачу своей заявки.
  •  Applications Closed

Session 1: Tourism as a Conservation Tool?

Module 8: Session 1

Our first Session of Module 8 will kick us off framing the issue of tourism and conservation in the setting of snow leopard habitats. Raghu and Joanna have outlined some of these ideas in this downloadable note. If you have time please do read it before joining (if not after the session as a resource). This note may spark your ideas on questions to ask or thoughts to throw into the discussion. 

Session 1.1: Tourism as a conservation tool?

Session 1.2: Conservation tourism – economic driver for inclusive conservation

Session 1.3: Conservation Tourism Plenary Discussion


  • Eco-tourism and conservation tourism are different although both can benefit conservation.  
  • Conservation tourism is a term used when tourism planning is centered around conservation goals. Conservation tourism entails tourism being an active participant in conservation whereas other forms of tourism are passive and reactive to existing conservation.
  • Important to maintain clarity over the terms so that later evaluations can be accurately assessed in a way that has not been possible with eco-tourism due to its conflation with other forms such as nature tourism, wildlife tourism, even adventure and outdoor tourism.
  • Conservation can be better when different conservation models run parallel and complementing existing ones
  • Beyond our Protected Areas conservation success can be achieve with active participation of communities
  • Economic incentives can help encourage active participation of communities in conservation
  • Tourism is growing industry and can be a nature friendly activity for ecologically sensitive areas and it can generate substantial economic benefits for communities
  • Tourism for conservation must be developed, guided, promoted within a conservation framework and bring economic well-being of the communities
  • Benefits from tourism must add to the existing livelihood and not replace the existing income sources
  • The development of tourism must ensure a tangible outcome of conservation to use it as an effective conservation tool.
  • Equitable distribution of incentives is key to the success in making tourism into conservation tourism. With small but equitable benefits bigger conservation goals can be achieved.
  • Greater individual benefits more divisive it is for the community to participation
  • Tourism benefits can be effectively used to generate snow leopard friendly perception and reduce conflict.

Snow leopard & Tibetan brown bear conservation and research


In this first webinar of 2021 we travel to the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau with a young team of researchers who are looking at snow leopard conservation from a wider perspective- and considering other large mammals. We are pleased to welcome Charlotte Hacker and Dr. Yunchuan Dai who discuss Tibetan brown bear and snow leopard research and conservation in China. Our speakers give a particular focus to how these carnivores co-exist with humans and varying land use patterns- highlight key conservation messages and learnings.