Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Many thanks to those who read brief blog yesterday re human-leopard co-existence...


Many thanks to those who read my brief blog yesterday re human-leopard co-existence, I got several messages. As I've mentioned, we're working hard on developing, testing, implementing tools, more soon on the "Living with Leopards" concept but I am concerned about the disconnect many have from ground level reality. This needs to change, we're working on that too.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Leopards turn man-eater for different reasons...

Right now I'm working on those reasons.  It's fundamental to understanding and putting repairs in place to this problem.  There have been hundreds and hundreds of deaths in the area that is Nepal and northern India over the last twenty years, we're still collating figures.

Fear is bred when an animal kills a human.  Retaliation is often the consequence.  Perceptions of the species involved are generally very negative.  There is blame, anger and a lot of confusion mixed with the fear.  Every incident is tragic, the deaths on both sides.

People, livestock (that vital livelihood of so many economically disadvantaged areas) and leopards are dying.  Here in Nepal the topography of the middle hills (they aren't "hills" as the rest of the world knows them, they are more like mountains) adds to the difficulty of the situation.  It's a situation that can never be completely resolved but it can be eased.

That's what we're working on.   Every day more issues seem to come up, this is a tough gig.  Poverty and a country that is struggling in so many ways are factors within this serious problem.  Human-Leopard co-existence is at a critical stage.  I'll write more about the "Living with Leopards" concept, the strategies and implementations involved, as it develops further.



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Big cats - the privilege of the encounter, no room for elitism...

This blog is at Facebook (along with other updates) if you wish to comment


Any encounter I have with a tiger or leopard is a privilege.  I have no right to see a big cat, no one does.  If it happens it happens.  The experience itself always affects me.  It's not love, it's respect.  I feel protective but at the same time in awe.  The feeling is not totally about the animal before my eyes, it is more about what that animal represents, the sheer being that is nature and how humbling it is to realize the privilege I have to be connected to nature in its entirety, in all its forms.

I have always felt like this and events today only strengthened my resolve...

The people who live directly with tigers, leopards and such like are part of the fabric, an extremely vital part.  I have serious concerns about the growing elitism in conservation, something which is making it even more difficult for those who have to co-exist with such powerful forces as tigers and leopards.  I'm at an age now where my radar is more attuned regarding who is involved in wildlife protection, if they are truly genuine or not.  We humans talk a big game...

The people who live with tigers and leopards understand that, I have had many issues shared with me, more of late than ever.

It's a busy time.  There's been some strong developments in the "Living with Leopards" concept and some serious concerns raised too.  Some good people are fighting hard, walking the walk.  I thank those who support that.  In a country like Nepal it's easy to see the visible challenges but there are many not so visible, things that go on that need to be dealt with in a certain way.  There are days when those challenges seem as huge as the highest of Himalayan peaks.

But then maybe the sight of a tiger, in some form, a light in the darkness, shows the way...

Make sure you follow the efforts of the Environmental Investigation Agency at CITES Conference of the Parties 17 (@EIAInvestigator on Twitter) and WildTiger is one of 49 signatories on tiger farming... some noticeable absentees on that list, more on that another day.  In a couple of weeks I'll have a comprehensive report on the "Living with Leopards" concept, it's about practical application to improve co-existence between big cats and the people living with them, both parties deserving equal respect.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Human - Leopard Co-existence - quick update on strategy...

These posts are also at Facebook (along with other updates) if you wish to comment.


Just a quick one as I'm getting a lot of correspondence on this issue and I haven't been able to get back to everyone.  Regarding conflict mitigation strategy it involves digital eye, forensics, an early warning (and deterrent) device and the biggie which is giving people a better understanding of leopard behaviour in conflict areas.  This last one is a concern because I frequently hear and read information which is off the mark. The leopard is the most successful, cunning and adaptable of the big cats.  When things are out of balance those attributes make the leopard the most deadly.  I am still constantly amazed what they are capable of and living with one extended my vision much further.  A massive amount of time and resource has gone into this, it really has been a case of putting  money where the mouth is.  There's a lot more to be done but we are making progress.  I'll update in a few weeks regarding the whole "Living with Leopards" concept.  I thank those who support this in a tangible way, it's about saving lives of people, livestock plus the leopards themselves and of course keeping ecosystems intact...
Cheers Jack.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

#HumanWildlifeConflict #WildlifeCrime


With regard to issues such as #HumanWildlifeConflict + #WildlifeCrime the years have taught me it is certainly not about making friends or being popular, it is about doing what is right. There is a cost to this but that cost is always quickly diluted by conscience. Above all it is about fairness to innocent, marginalized parties... and truly understanding what they go through.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

CO-EXISTENCE STRATEGY - Action rather than words...


About to see a couple of good people to further develop a leopard deterrent, something that can be worn by villagers at high risk times in high risk areas.  I've had to catch up on a lot of book work stuff this morning but in one of my journals I came across a quote from someone I respect a lot and is going to get a strong mention in my book, he said:
"The woman who bakes cakes, sells them and gives the money to real wildlife protection agencies is a far more effective conservationist than the scientist who spends his (or her of course!) whole time producing little read scientific journals in the name of 'research' ...in short, we live in a world of too many 'finder outers' and not enough doers".

Amen to that...

These posts are also at Facebook (along with other updates) if you wish to comment...

CAPTIVE CATS - It's all so bloody complicated isn't it...

These posts are at Facebook (along with other updates) should you wish to comment.


As I'm blasting through the past digging up images from certain events for certain presentations and documents etc, I found this image of a cheetah I took several years ago. It was when I was asked to investigate the way felids were being treated in certain institutions holding big cats in captivity. It was hard, I met people who really felt they were doing the right thing, with all the best intentions and I met others where it was simply about the dollar. For all the awareness, research etc, not a lot has changed but now that we are reaching tipping points for so many species in the wild, the roles and resources soaked up with regard to these types of places should be examined more than ever. But I'll be honest, bring these subjects up to the general public and in the main it's a case of eyes glazing over...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"Living with Leopards"... First guide book soon...


Hoping to have the first lot of booklets out soon re "Living with Leopards"... it's essentially a guide to co-existence with safety tips included. The first batch will go to a village in remembrance of a small child taken by a leopard there. Then we will just keep on going...