*Image on homepage of children wearing faux-fur snow leopard SpiritHoods was taken by Tshewang Wangchuk
Women learning how to operate trail cameras in Bhutan (photo: Tshewang Wangchuk)
Partners: Bhutan Foundation, Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Department, Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP)
Jigme Dorji National Park lies in the northwestern part of Bhutan, sharing a border with the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. The park protects an area of 4316 sq. km., and supports a rich biodiversity. It was in JDNP where tigers were first recorded above 4000 meters, sharing habitat with snow leopards. Here snow leopards frequently prey upon young yaks, leading local herders to view the cats as pests that need to be eliminated. Working collaboratively with our partners and local communities, the Conservancy is focused on projects aimed at the benefits of having snow leopards present, with the communities being the primary drivers of conservation. Activities underway include community-based snow leopard monitoring and improvement of livestock management practices.
Young girls performing traditional dance with faux-fur snow leopard SpiritHoods at Snow Leopard Festival
(photo: Tshewang Wangchuk)
In 2012, communities in Jigme Dorji National Park asked the Conservancy for support in creating an annual Snow Leopard Festival to educate adults and children about the importance of snow leopard conservation in the high mountains. The first Festival was a tremendous success in October 2013. In addition the Conservancy is assisting with the publication of an illustrated book about snow leopards designed for the Bhutanese communities.