Snow Leopards and Tibetan Herders: Coexistence from a Cultural Perspective


Conservationists worldwide are making efforts to minimize human-wildlife conflicts for coexistence. Despite its varying definitions, coexistence generally requires humans to sustainably share landscapes and resources with wildlife. This is a grand objective that presents significant challenges. It requires more than scientific evidence, technological innovation, market efficiency, and policy adjustment, but also transformation in our mental map of reality, ways of knowing, and values. Yufang Gao’s interdisciplinary scholarship aims to develop a holistic understanding of the ecological, sociopolitical, and cultural dimensions of human-wildlife coexistence across multiple spatiotemporal scales and institutional contexts in China and worldwide. In this talk, he will use Tibetan traditional knowledge about snow leopards and other large carnivores to discuss the role of culture in shaping local imagination as to the ends, means, and contexts of coexistence and its implication for conservation.



Cluster studies – What are they and what can we learn from them?

Join us for a webinar that delves into the fascinating world of cluster studies in snow leopard research. We will explore the realm of spatial ecology and its broader implications for understanding the species. Our guest, Gustaf Samelius, Assistant Director of Science for the Snow Leopard Trust, will join us to share a recent update on the collation of detailed cluster studies of snow leopards in the South Gobi, Mongolia. These studies, conducted in collaboration with the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation, are part of the Long-Term Ecological Study, which has been active for over 13 years. Gustaf will discuss how his time in the Gobi during spring 2023 has provided a more detailed understanding of the species.

GPS-collars are a common way to study spatial ecology but GPS-collars can also teach us about other aspects of ecology such as foraging patterns and reproductive biology. During this seminar, Gustaf will show us how they use what is called cluster studies (which is visiting of the places where collared animals stop for extended periods) to study predation patterns of collared snow leopards in southern Mongolia. Gustaf will also show us how they are also starting to use cluster studies to learn more about where the collared cats are resting and how this will help us understand how the cats are using the mountains and why they are limited to mountains.


Ensuring a future for Kenya’s lions & other large carnivores through community-led conservation


Welcome to our next SLN webinar where we’re excited to introduce you to Ewaso Lions, a Kenya-based conservation organization working to promote coexistence between people and wildlife, specifically large carnivores such as lions. In an upcoming presentation, Ewaso Lions’ Founder & Executive Director, Shivani Bhalla, and Director of Impact and Operations, Toby Otieno, will share how their various community programs with pastoralist communities seek to build local agency and decision-making in carnivore conservation and promote human-carnivore coexistence. Ewaso Lions firmly believes that community-led conservation efforts are key to the success of lion conservation.

Using ranger-based monitoring data for predicting poaching pressure

The webinar will focus on the pressing issue of illegal hunting and its impact on large herbivores, specifically mountain ungulates. Despite increased conservation efforts, many species are still at risk of extinction, and more effective interventions are needed. Our speaker, Arash Ghoddousi, will share his research on analysing ranger-based monitoring data to inform adaptive management. He will present a case study from Golestan National Park, where they identified the main determinants of illegal hunting, such as accessibility, law enforcement, and prey availability. Our discussant, Munib Khanyari, will also share his insights on human-nature relationships in the Trans-Himalayan region of India.


Understanding geographies of threat


The world’s biodiversity face persistent and changing threats, resulting in degradation of habitats and declines in species populations. Threats are dynamic factors that cause decline or destruction of habitat, population size, or biodiversity in any site of interest. Conducting a comprehensive analysis of threats can be more challenging than it may first appears. Threats can be direct, indirect, local or globally driven and they often vary over time with new threats emerging. The Snow Leopard Network is delighted to invite you to the webinar entitled “Understanding the geographies of Threat”. Our guest Alfredo Romero-Muñoz, from the Humboldt University, Berlin, will share how his team is analysing the impact of threats to wildlife and habitats across the Gran Chaco region in South America. The talk will be facilitated by Dr. Gustaf Samelius, followed by a discussion, with our discussant Dr. Ranjini Murali, on the geography of threats across snow leopard landscapes and exchange on approaches to assess them. 


Building and exchanging capacities in snow leopard research and conservation


In 2022 two projects in India and Kyrgyzstan were supported by the Snow Leopard Network Training Grants Program:

“Volunteers for Nature: Developing and training local volunteers for nature education” led by Deepshikha Sharma and team from the Nature Conservation Foundation.

“Enhancing conservation awareness among youth through school visits by local rangers in Osh Oblast, Kyrgyzstan” led by Fatima Mannapbekova and colleagues from Panthera.

SLN invites you to a discussion with our 2022 Grantees to learn more about their projects and the lessons learned. We will ask our guests to share more about- What was achieved? What were the challenges and opportunities encountered in the implementation of the project? What did the teams learn that could help others wishing to do similar projects? How do teams see the results being applied to conservation? We will then open up the discussion with the audience to discuss effective and respectful strategies for building and exchanging capacities in snow leopard research and conservation among key stakeholders. 




Perceptions of carnivore management interventions in Sweden and wildlife conflicts from the perspective of the individual.

Large carnivores are known to evoke strong emotions. These can influence consensus or social interactions between people promoting wildlife conservation and people who suffer from its negative consequences. Conservation interventions that aim to prevent or mitigate carnivore attacks on domestic animals are intended to promote coexistence between people and carnivores. These however risk failing if they do not also address fear and social conflicts and emotions/perspectives of intervention end users.

SLN is pleased to invite Ann Eklund, a researcher in Environmental Psychology, to lead this webinar. Anne shares examples of conservation interventions in Sweden, present how these interventions may be perceived by the intended end users, and discusses the potential that interventions may or may not have to promote co-existence. Orjan Johansson, SLN’s Steering Committee member facilitates the discussion around this exchange of learnings. 


Snow leopards & Nepal

Nepal has a long history in snow leopard conservation. Rinzin Phunjok Lama from the Third Pole Conservancy will share updates of the teams ongoing snow leopard population survey in Humla, west Nepal. He will share how community conservation provides the foundation for their monitoring efforts. Rinzin and his colleagues are actively working in partnership with local stakeholders to tackle threats to snow leopards including direct killings, forest fires, illegal logging through a number of livelihood programs (including gathering honey, making traditional clothes, and running ecotourism businesses). Their work includes large scale monitoring of snow leopards and other wildlife. Join us as Rinzin shares the opportunities and challenges of achieving this multi-pronged approach.

Snow leopards & China

Qilianshan National Park, extends along the magnificent Qilian Mountains in north-eastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau. The mountains of 52,000 provide home and future refuges for snow leopard and many other wildlife. When the national park was established in 2016, an ambitious plan was announced to assess snow leopard populations across the entire mountain range. Since 2014, Dr. Yanlin Liu has been working with different teams on the snow leopard assessment in Qilian Mountains. Yanlin is currently the Science Director of the Chinese Felid Conservation Alliance and previously served as director of the snow leopard project for the ShanShui Conservation Center and a Post-Doc in the Chinese Academy of Forest. During this session he will share some of the opportunities and challenges his team is facing. He would love to hear form other SLN members and discuss large scale monitoring strategies.

Snow leopards & Kyrgyzstan

In 2021, Panthera kick-started a project with a focus in building conservation capacity and partnerships with communities in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Since June 2021, the project was co-led by two female conservationists, Sabin Snow Leopard grantee Fatima Mannapbekova and CEPF project lead Altynai Adabaeva. Together with the Ilbirs Foundation, they’ve made introductory visits to communities in the Osh Oblast of Kyrgyzstan to establish relationships with local stakeholders and communities. Later, they led a team of surveyors to conduct the preliminary survey work via household interviews. Over 23 days, 639 interviews were conducted in 37 villages. During this SLN session, Altynai and Fatima will share the results of their work, challenges faced, and lessons learned while working in a rarely studied snow leopard habitat.