The human dimension of Big Cat research - Q&A with a Big Cat blogger and closing the gap between snow leopard conservation and people

Hi everyone,

I was recently interviewed by a big cat blogger from the States, Josh Gross, who is an Anthropologist interested in the human dimension of big cat research.

You can read the interview here! :

I'm especially keen to connect with Anthropologists and Sociologists as the further I delve into conservation research, the more I realise that people and communities are the most important aspect of species and ecosystem preservation. We conservation scientists need to collaborate more with these types of experts as they can help us understand and facilitate solutions to the biggest threat to species biodiversity…! With snow leopards, the three major ongoing threats to their survival are 1) competition with livestock, habitat degradation and declines in prey; 2) depredation by snow leopards on livestock and retaliatory killing; and 3) the illegal trade in their parts…..all resulting from human interference. But if humans are the major problem, they must also be the solution!

The Snow Leopard Trust recently released a video on their efforts to help local communities threatened by snow leopards taking their precious livestock, through the introduction of livestock insurance programs. They demonstrate that “sustainable community based conservation is working”. If more funding could be directed towards the human dimension of big cat conservation, empowering and involving local people, most of the battle towards preventing species extinction will have been won.

Watch this space for a trek we’re organising into snow leopard territory in Nepal to raise money to build livestock corrals for some of the villages threatened by snow leopard depredation. Come and be part of the solution!

Many blessings


High up in the Indian Himalayas, local herders and the Snow Leopard Trust are working together to create a safe future for the endangered snow leopard. One of their innovative ideas: a community-run livestock insurance program that gives herders access to compensation when they lose sheep and goats to snow leopard attacks - and prevents retaliation against the cat.
Natalie Schmitt