Dr. Rodney Jackson is the leading expert on wild snow leopards and their high-mountain habitat. SLC has grown out of Rodney’s thirty years’ experience gained in working closely with rural herders and farmers whose lives are directly impacted when snow leopards prey upon their livestock.
Upon receiving a 1981 Rolex Award for Enterprise, Rodney launched a pioneering radio-tracking study of snow leopards in the remote mountains of the Nepalese Himalaya. The four-year study led to the cover story in the June 1986 National Geographic. In addition, the June, 2008 issue of National Geographic featured Rodney’s work with the Snow Leopard Conservancy India. He has been a finalist for the Indianapolis Prize in 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2016 – the first to be nominated three times consecutively. The Indianapolis Prize is the world’s largest individual monetary award for animal conservation.
Rodney prepared the snow leopard section of the IUCN-World Conservation Union’s Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Cats, which serves as a definitive document on the needs and opportunities for preservation of the earth’s remaining wild cats. He currently sits on the IUCN’s Cat Specialist Core Group, and served from 2003 until 2008 on the Snow Leopard Network Steering Committee.
Rodney led the standardization of snow leopard field survey methods across the twelve snow leopard host countries, the Snow Leopard Information Management System (SLIMS). Working with partner agencies, he trained biologists in these methods in nature reserves in China, Pakistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, and India. SLIMS has since been superceded by advancements in technology for surveying snow leopard populations.
Rodney’s publications include a comprehensive handbook on surveying snow leopard populations using camera traps published in 2006. You will find it on our site. The document represents the detailed results of over four years of systematic field research conducted in the harsh geographical and climatic conditions of the Himalaya and other parts of Central Asia. The handbook has been translated into Chinese and Russian. In addition, Rodney co-authored two papers on genetics; one published inAnimal Conservation in October 2008, (Read an abstract here) (or here), and another published in theJournal of Mammalogy in August 2011 (Read an abstract here).
Rodney has written or co-written chapters in books including “Snow Leopards: Conflict and Conservation,” in Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids (Professor D. Macdonald and A. Loveridge, editors), Oxford University Press, UK 2010; “Snow leopards: is reintroduction the best option?” in The Reintroduction of Top-Order Predators, M. W. Hayward, and M. J. Somers, editors. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK.2009; and “Ghost Cat of the Himals”, in: Himalaya: Personal Stories of Grandeur, Challenge and Hope. Edited by R.C. Blum, E. Stone and B. Coburn. National Geographic Society and American Himalayan Foundation. Washington DC., 2006.
Rodney also wrote the section on snow leopards and clouded leopards for the New Encyclopedia of Mammals, published by Oxford University Press, 2001; the Proceedings of the 8th International Snow Leopard Symposium, co-edited with A. Ahmad and published in 1997 by the International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle and WWF-Pakistan; “Cats Up Close: Snow Leopards”, in Great Cats: Majestic Creatures of the Wild, Rodale Press, 1991; and popular articles for International Wildlife, Animal Kingdom, and Geo (France and Germany).