SLN member Tom McCarthy honored by Mongolian government

28 October 2010
Snow leopard researcher and conservationist, Dr. Tom McCarthy, was recently recognized by the Mongolian government for his long-term contribution to wildlife science in that country. At a ceremony in the office of the President, he was awarded the State of Mongolia Friendship Medal, the highest award given by the Mongolian government to a non-Mongolian to recognize outstanding contributions to Mongolia and its people. Tom started working in Mongolia in 1993 when George Schaller selected him to lead a snow leopard study in the Altai Mountains. As a Ph.D. student with the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, he spent the next 6 years studying snow leopards, Gobi brown bears and wild Bactrian camels in and around the Great Gobi National Park. His research into livestock-snow leopard conflicts led to the establishment of Snow Leopard Enterprises, one of the most successful community-based conservation programs for the species. From 2000 – 2009 he led the Snow Leopard Trust’s programs in Mongolia, and currently as Panthera’s Executive Director of Snow Leopard Programs he co-manages a long-term ecological study of snow leopards in Mongolia’s South Gobi Province. Speaking of the award Tom stated, “I have just been very fortunate to work alongside some of Mongolia’s most dedicated scientists and conservationists for nearly two decades. It is very humbling to receive this award for doing something I have always considered to be a privilege.”

More on the award can be found at: