Photograph courtesy the Snow Leopard Conservancy
Grantee: Rodney Jackson
Rodney Jackson is the founder and director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy, a fellow at the Mountain Institute, and an honorary fellow at the California Academy of Sciences.
Endangered snow leopards in Central Asia face significant threats from retaliatory persecution after livestock predation, depletion of their prey, and trade in their valuable fur and body parts. In the worst-case scenario, a snow leopard enters a poorly constructed corral and kills 10 to 50 confined sheep and goats in a single night, effectively obliterating all of the herder’s property. Fortunately, predator-proofing the pens of vulnerable livestock, especially those located within or near snow leopard habitats, may readily prevent such devastating losses.
Jackson is using his Big Cats Initiative grant to build livestock corrals in at least four Nepalese communities. Villagers will collect stones and help construct secure walls, and the Snow Leopard Conservancy provides secure doors and wire mesh to prevent the cats from gaining access to herds in the future. These corrals could each protect five or more snow leopards from retaliatory persecution.
Nat Geo WILD presents a week dedicated to nature’s fiercest felines—big cats—creatures of magnificent strength, ferocity, and beauty that are rapidly facing extinction. With visually stunning and powerful stories from around the world, get closer than ever before to lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers, and more as you share in their triumphs, defeats, and epic struggles to survive.