Read a message from Panthera President and CEO, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, and learn about what you can do this holiday season to help Panthera save big cats, including making a contribution to Panthera in honor of someone. This gift will enable Panthera to further help protect big cats around the world, and will be remembered long after other presents are forgotten. Happy Holidays!
TreeHugger has just released three incredible videos of snow leopards taken by Panthera and the Snow Leopard Trust’s camera traps in South Gobi, Mongolia. These videos are actually a group of camera trap images taken about a half second apart.
Last month, Dr. Alan Rabinowitz presented at the 2010 PopTech Conference in Camden, Maine to discuss “Brilliant Accidents, Necessary Failures and Improbable Breakthroughs” in the wild cat conservation field. PopTech has just released a video of Alan’s presentation to the public – a lecture for which he received one of only three of the conference’s standing ovations!
This year the Panthera supported Living with Lions program held the first-ever Lion Guardian Games – an exciting tournament in which the Lion Guardians, Maasai traditional warriors, - competed in three events, including stick and spear throwing and soccer. Watch a video and see a photo gallery of the Guardians participating in the events and celebrating their achievements with traditional Maasai festivities!
Yesterday, you got a glimpse inside a traditional (and colorful) Indian homestay – a kind of temporary housing that supports tourism in India’s small villages by putting a roof over the heads of eco-tourists (like Snow Leopard Program Executive Director, Dr. Tom McCarthy), and helps offset the cost of homestay owners’ livestock losses caused by snow leopards. Watch Tom’s interesting interview with a local homestay owner to learn how operating a homestay allows one woman to provide for her children and how she feels about hunting snow leopards.
Today, we want to take you inside a traditional Indian homestay to show you where Dr. Tom McCarthy stayed during his research trip to Rumbak Village. See the colorful tea pots and furniture that adorns one homestay and learn about how this Himalayan homestay project is operated for tourists, particularly eco-tourists like Tom, using numerous houses throughout the village. Also get a glimpse at a parabolic heater provided to the village’s homestays and cafes that allows villagers to heat their food and water without using a good deal of their local fuels.
We begin this week’s “Trekking with Tom” posts with an up close look at a predator proof corral in India’s Rumbak Village. Listen to Tom explain how these corrals are made, and how something as simple as mesh wiring prevents snow leopards from getting into enclosures. Local villagers who predator-proof their corrals, are finding it easier to live with snow leopards. Which benefits everyone, including the snow leopard!
Learn more about our snow leopard conservation program at http://www.panthera.org/programs/snow-leopard/snow-leopard-program.
Our last “Trekking with Tom” video of the week shows the impressive mountains surrounding India’s Rumbak Village (one of the first stops on Tom’s snow leopard research trip through India) and the stunning valley that cradles this community. See how people live, and where snow leopards roam, in an area that reaches an altitude of just over 13,000 feet!
We hope you have enjoyed the first week of our “Trekking with Tom” blog posts. This was our first video blog and we’d love for you to tell us what you think of the series, so far, on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/pantheracats.
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.
For our third “Trekking with Tom” blog post, we wanted to share a short video of a group of men sharing a typical meal in Tajikistan. The meal takes place in a beautifully adorned room involving four men eating, talking, having tea….and trying on hats, of course! Take a peek at this video to learn about traditional Tajik dress, including fashionable hats known as toqis, and the elaborate rugs and wall hangings that make up this home’s colorful décor.