28 Oct

Protecting the Livestock and Livelihoods of India's Villagers from the “Trekking with Tom” Blog Series


So far, we have brought you stories and video interviews from Snow Leopard Program Exec. Director, Dr. Tom McCarthy’s research trip to Tajikistan, where he spent several weeks this summer working to build Panthera’s relationships with local conservation organizations and communities and gather data to help shape Panthera’s snow leopard conservation strategies in the region. After travelling through several remote villages in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains, Tom ventured to Ladakh and then Leh, India before heading into the remote Rumbak Village to carry out more research on villagers attitudes towards and interactions with snow leopards.

While getting to know the people of Rumbak, Tom filmed this short and amusing video of a herder heading out to pasture with his sheep and a woman carrying handicrafts made of yak and sheep wool. Sheep and yaks, whether through meat, milk and wool (the latter which is used to make snow-leopard friendly products), are critical to the livelihoods of the local community. Panthera is working with local communities by providing supplies to help build ‘predator-proof’ enclosures that properly protect livestock from being eaten by snow leopards, thus preserving livelihoods, and preventing snow leopards from being hunted! Who knew something as simple as covering a corral could solve so many problems…

Be sure to check back to see the extensive photo gallery from Tom’s trek in India, available shortly.