Barbara Palmer

In the winter of 2003-4 Barbara Palmer traveled to Ladakh, India to assist with the Snow Leopard Conservancy’s camera trap census in Hemis National Park. She took with her several recordings of the mating calls of the snow leopards in her care at the San Francisco Zoo. All three of the Zoo’s snow leopards were “single” and had been vocally advertising for a mate since the previous mid-December, the beginning of mating season that coincides with that of the snow leopards of Ladakh. It was just about Valentine’s Day when the San Francisco cats’ voices were broadcast through the high air of Ladakh’s mountains, helping the team identify snow leopards in the study area.

Barb serves as the primary keeper of the San Francisco Zoo’s Feline Conservation center; a facility geared towards conservation breeding of the rare and endangered medium and small cats. Included in this work is both formal and informal visitor education, and coordination of all research projects concerning this facility. She is the only animal keeper on the Zoo’s Scientific Review Committee, which reviews all requests for biological samples from the zoo for research or education. She is also a member of the Insitu-Exsitu Committee of the Felid Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

Barb’s field experience includes surveys for threatened, sensitive and endangered native wildlife, habitat use surveys, habitat restoration and protection projects for the U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Department; assisting in the transfer and release of North American captive born black and white ruffed lemurs with Project Betampona/Lemur Release in Madagascar, and the followup tracking and data collection of these animals. She has also led groups of international volunteers with zoo or other wildlife experience on two separate programs in Madagascar in cooperation with Madagascar Fauna Group, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, and Conservation International. In 2002, Barb won an EarthWatch Professional Fellowship to assist in data gathering for a snow leopard monitoring research project in northern Nepal as part of an EarthWatch research team.