September 28, 2009
Longtail Wine, Napa Valley.

Longtail Wine, Napa Valley.

Recently I posted about raising our glasses to snow leopards with Snow Leopard Vodka – a product that shares a percentage of revenue with conservation projects. I found yet another reason to raise our glasses to these beautiful cats – this time with Longtail Wines from the Napa Valley. Longtail is partnering with the Snow Leopard Conservancy to help raise money and awareness. Let’s raise another glass!


“Saving the Ghost of the mountain” – book by Sy Montgomery

September 23, 2009
Saving the ghost of the mountain by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop

"Saving the ghost of the mountain" by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop

I have to share with you  my latest find – this gorgeous book by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop – “Saving the Ghost of the Mountain – an expedition among snow leopards in Mongolia” -just published. It’s aimed at young readers but an absolute must read for adults interested in this rare cat too.

Sy and Nic spent time in Mongolia with Tom McCarthy, Conservation Director of the Snow Leopard Trust and his local team who are working on a ten year study of the cat in this region.

Sy scrambling through extreme terrain in Mongolia. Photo Nic Bishop.

Sy scrambling through extreme terrain in Mongolia. Photo Nic Bishop.

As well as the story of this snow leopard conservation project, the book covers the history of the region with stories about Genghis Khan who ruled here hundreds of years ago. We learn about local customs of the nomadic herders, other local wildlife like the desert hedgehog and the story of dinosaur finds in the Gobi desert made by adventurers in the 1920’s and 1930’s. There are stunning photographs by Nic throughout.

Like my own snow leopard conservation journey in northern India (Ladakh) ten years ago, Sy and Nic didn’t see any of the rare and illusive cats. Along with Tom (who Sy calls the Professor of Poop), they do however find lots of scat (also known as snow leopard poop). For me those many years ago finding poop was so exciting, at least we knew the cats were there even if we didn’t see them!

I’ve been in email contact with Sy and she’s shared her thrilling account of the Mongolia trip searching for snow leopards for the book here.

Get this book  from Amazon here.

September 23, 2009
Tidbits Managing editor Jeff Carlson and daughter as snow leopards

Tidbits Managing editor Jeff Carlson and daughter as snow leopards. Photo by Tidbits.

Doug MacLean, staff writer at Tidbits – “ Mac News for the rest of us” has written a great piece on how Apple and MAC OS X Snow Leopard users can help the endangered snow leopards that the OS was named after. A whole bunch of ideas for the company, retailers and users.

He also shows how Pacific Life supports its brand icon the humpback whale. Its a really motivating article. I’m sure it’ll do a lot to get people learning about the challenges facing the cat and perhaps even taking action. Well done Doug and also Tibits managing editor Jeff Carlson for joining snow leopards at Woodland Park Zoo.

Apple Mac OS X helps snow leopard conservation

September 20, 2009
Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Apple Mac  OS X Snow Leopard sweeps the world!

OS X users visiting this blog will be interested to learn why the snow leopard in the wild is a unique and endangered animal. (Find out why.)

We hope that Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard users who care about nature take time to learn about the real wild snow leopard and support one of the several conservation groups working to save this cat from extinction in the wild.

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Saving this flagship species will help save many other species sharing its habitat in some of the world’s most remote regions.

“This is a boon for wild snow leopards,” says Brad Rutherford, Executive Director of the Snow Leopard Trust, “Apple is helping to show the world the beauty and majesty of this rare creature.”

And the good news keeps coming with many Apple retailers in the US and other countries making donations and supporting the Snow Leopard Trust (Seattle) in different ways. Apparently hundreds of retailers will be involved. Well done Apple retailers!!  More info on how Apple Mac OS X Snow Leopard is helping the Trust here.

Wildlife artist Martin Aveling’s beautiful snow leopard

September 20, 2009
Martin Aveling's work "An eye to the future" Snow Leopard

Martin Aveling's work "An eye to the future" Snow Leopard

Wildlife artist Martin Aveling’s beautiful pastel pencil drawing of a snow leopard cub has been entered into the 2009 Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition in London. He’s called the work “An Eye to the future”, would be interesting to know why….I’m imagining a future where these graceful animals are no longer endangered….

Snow Leopard Network –globally collaborating on the survival of snow leopards in the wild

September 16, 2009

A few weeks ago I did a post on Rana Bayakci,the Program Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Network (SLN) in Seattle, USA and how she worked with Gregor the snow leopard at Woodland Park Zoo before he came to Melbourne where we all fell under his spell.

I wanted to share a bit of information about the Network as it does so much great work on snow leopard conservation. It’s really an inspiration for how people who share the same goal can achieve so much through global collaboration.

Rana, who started with the SLN in 2008 says “The main goal of our organisation is to implement the Snow Leopard Survival Strategy (SLSS), which was co-authored by several members of the SLN. The SLSS is a strategy for saving the endangered snow leopard through research, conservation actions, and establishing government action plans in snow leopard range countries.

“We started with 65 founding members in 2002 and we’ve grown to 324 members and counting, including 27 organisational members! Our membership includes leading snow leopard experts in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. “Our members are involved with all aspects of snow leopard research, conservation and education. They include 42 “affiliate” members who might not work directly in snow leopard conservation but are very interested in contributing to snow leopard conservation work.

“We would like to expand our membership to include everyone involved in snow leopard conservation in order to increase communication and continue to develop and share effective conservation, education, and research strategies.”

Rana is one of only two staff members of The SLN with Executive Director being Dr. Tom McCarthy (see my earlier post and video of Tom discussing snow leopard conservation in Kyrgyzstan). The rest of the work is done by dedicated volunteers, including the 6 members of the Steering Committee.

One of the important services the SLN provides its members is the Snow Leopard Bibliography, a database of scholarly articles on snow leopards, their habitat and research. I can imagine sharing knowledge of snow leopard behaviours, ecology etc amongst researchers helps all of them learn more and hopefully come up with better conservation strategies for the future of the animals and people sharing their habitat.

The SLN also hosts the annual Snow Leopard Conservation Grant Program, which supports education, research, or conservation projects on snow leopards.

You can see more about the SLN and join here.