Comprehensive Snow Leopard Conservation Guide Published

We are pleased to announce the release of the book Snow Leopards: Biodiversity of the World: Conservation from Genes to Landscapes edited by SLN members Dr. Thomas McCarthy, Dr. David Mallon. Over 200 authors contributed to this comprehensive guide to snow leopard conservation, many of whom are SLN members. We would like to thank all authors and editors for their efforts in producing this amazing volume.

The book is available for purchase in hard back or Kindle here:
https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Leopards-Biodiversity-Conservation-Landscapes/dp/0128022132/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Sabin Snow Leopard Grant Program Accepting LOIs

The Panthera Sabin Snow Leopard Grant Program will be accepting letters of interest (LOIs) from July 1, 2016 until August 1, 2016. This program provides awards of up to $20,000 per project per year to in situ snow leopard conservation projects.

For more information on the program, eligibility requirements, and how to apply, see https://www.panthera.org/cms/sites/default/files/Panthera_SabinSnowLeopardGrantProgram.pdf

Whitley Award Awarded to SLN Member

In May, the prestigious Whitley Award was awarded to SLN member Dr. Muhammad Ali Nawaz for his work on snow leopard conservation in northern Pakistan.

Kashif Syed, Communications Coordinator of the Snow Leopard Foundation, distributed the following press release:

London- UK, Islamabad-Pakistan:

HRH The Princess Royal presented a Whitley Award, a prestigious
international nature conservation prize to Dr Muhammad Ali Nawaz, at a
ceremony in the Royal Geographical Society, London, attended by over 550
guests including Sir David Attenborough. Ali, an educationist, researcher
and conservationist from Pakistan, has been honoured for his efforts to
protect the endangered snow leopard in the mountains of northern Pakistan.
This year’s Whitley Awards — often referred to as the “Green Oscars” — has
been given to seven conservationists chosen from a pool of over 120
applicants from 53 countries for their “innovative conservation projects”.
Presented annually since 1994, the Whitley Awards are given to individuals
in recognition of “their achievements in nature conservation.”

Based at the Quaid-i-Azam University, Ali has established snow leopard
program in Pakistan, which is a unique research and conservation initiative
in the country. The snow leopard program is a partnership initiative between
the Snow Leopard Foundation, Federal Ministry of Climate Change, provincial
Wildlife Departments, and local communities. Snow leopards are considered
critically endangered in Pakistan where Ali is working in the
Himalaya-Karakoram-Pamir-Hindukush mountain complex to conserve the species.
Threatened by poaching, habitat degradation and subsequent decline of
natural prey, snow leopards are sometimes killed by herders in retaliation
to livestock predation. This loss to herders’ livelihoods can be the
equivalent of a month’s salary, but through scientific research and
introduction of innovative measures that buffer against livestock losses and
increase tolerance, Ali is reducing human-wildlife conflict. Besides this,
the snow leopard program has generated unprecedented scientific information
on the unique ecosystem of this mountain complex, through state of the art
research tools. The program is nurturing young ecologists to build
country’s capacity in field research and prepare next-generation
conservationists.

At an awards ceremony each winner received £35,000 (~$50,700) in project
funding. The award money will help the conservationists scale up their work
to conserve some of the planet’s most endangered species and iconic places.
With his Whitley Award Ali will bring together people, NGOs and government
in a unified effort to develop a multi-stakeholder strategy for 25,000 km2
of this mountainous habitat. This will be Pakistan’s first landscape-level
strategy for snow leopard conservation and will be used as a model to guide
future conservation planning in the country. The project will train 50
wildlife managers, whilst engaging with 6,000 herders to enable the
co-existence of communities and carnivores. Ali’s work represents one of the
first steps towards the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection
Programme’s (GSLEP) goal to secure 23 important snow leopard habitats by
2020.

News , picture, & Videos can be find at:

SLF Pakistan Twitter: https://twitter.com/SLFPakistan

SLF Pakistan Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slfpak

SLF Pakistan YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfwgy6zTMFxZ2lqHCI9xQtg

Whitley Fund Sources:

All Photographs of Whitley Awards:
https://picasaweb.google.com/105548002819098368093

All Video / Short Documentary on Whitley YouTube page:
https://www.youtube.com/user/DwallisWFN/videos

Smithsonian Magazine Cover Story

Dr. Thomas McCarthy, SLN member and head of the Panthera Snow Leopard Program, called this article to our attention. Congratulations to all the SLN members and other conservationists who are mentioned in the article.

Tom’s words are as follows:

“Smithsonian Magazine’s cover story this month [February 2016] provides a very nice depiction of the work Panthera and others are doing in Kyrgyzstan to conserve snow leopards. It focuses on the efforts of Tanya Rosen, Panthera Snow Leopard Program’s Country Director for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Tanya came to Panthera just 3 years ago and has rapidly moved those programs ahead using a variety of conservation actions, including but not limited to the conservancy-based hunting programs described in the Smithsonian article.

Congratulations to Tanya and her Panthera Kyrgyz and Tajik team members!

I would also like to acknowledge Shannon Kachel, the University of Washington (Seattle) PhD student who leads the snow leopard collaring project mentioned in the article. He is pictured but not specifically named in the text. Congratulations to him and all of the Kyrgyz team on the capture of their first (of many!) snow leopards for this study.”

Read the full article and view the magnificent pictures here:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/hunters-become-conservationists-fight-protect-snow-leopard-180958105

Focus of SLN Blog Changing

Dear SLN members, we are revitalizing the SLN News Blog! Because our SLN Automatic Snow Leopard News Feed covers general snow leopard news, we are repurposing this blog to focus on grant opportunities, member accomplishments, and other items that are of interest to the SLN community and not widely covered in the general media. Enjoy!

Smartphone app developed to identify illegal wildlife products

A WCS scientist has developed a smartphone app that helps law enforcement and military personnel identify illegal endangered species products in China, Afghanistan, and Viet Nam. The app allows the user to narrow the product down to the likely species, and also provides advice from expert taxonomists in eight hours. Heidi Kretser thought of the app after seeing US military personnel in Afghanistan purchasing illegal products including snow leopard furs.

For more details, see http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/10/09/smartphone-apps-lets-cops-track-down-illegal-wildlife-products

Source: takepart.com