Snow Leopard Conservancy
October 17, 2020
10:30 am PDT
Only a few thousand snow leopards remain in their home high in the mountains of Central Asia. This rare species is a sacred symbol of local indigenous people, but lives under constant threat of poaching, human development, and climate change. The Snow Leopard Conservancy (SLC) binds snow leopard conservation with the traditional beliefs of indigenous communities to build support for saving this big cat. With the aid of innovative technologies and the expertise of local people, SLC tracks snow leopards and protects their habitat. They also educate children about snow leopard conservation and help run Land of Snow Leopard Network, a coalition of conservationists and local cultural leaders.
Dr. Rodney Jackson
Dr. Rodney Jackson is the founder of Snow Leopard Conservancy and the world’s leading expert on snow leopards, devoting over 30 years of his life to protecting this elusive cat. In the 1980s, Rodney launched a pioneering radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the remote Nepalese Himalayas, which became a National Geographic cover story. His work with snow leopards in India was again featured by National Geographic in 2008. Rodney has a master’s in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of London. He has received the Rolex Award for Enterprise and serves on the IUCN Cat Specialist Core Group, Snow Leopard Network Steering Committee.
Ashleigh Lutz-Nelson is the Vice President of Snow Leopard Conservancy. She earned a bachelor’s in Zoology from the University of Florida and found her passion working with wild cats at Busch Gardens and AZA-accredited zoos. She then earned a master’s in Wild Animal Biology from the Royal Veterinary College and Zoological Society of London, and began bridging the gap between ex-situ and in-situ wild cat conservation. Ashleigh has worked with the Ruaha Carnivore Project and Malaysian Conservation Alliance for Tigers, and collaborated with snow leopard conservationists to develop strategies for the Pallas’s Cat International Conservation Alliance. Her 18 years of wildlife conservation experience is now used to protect snow leopards.
Photography credit: Eric Ash