The Snow Leopard Conservancy, a non-profit organization headquartered in Sonoma, California, was founded by Dr. Rodney Jackson, a leading expert on snow leopards (Panthera uncia) and their habitat.
“In January 1982, Dr. Jackson began three and a half years of research in the mountains of Nepal after receiving the 1982 Rolex Enterprise Award for his proposal to radio collar and study snow leopards in the wild. A June 1986 National Geographic cover story documented his success at being the first to implement VHF radio collar technology with this species. The monitoring of five cats produced an extensive body of information on diet, preferred habitat, home range size, abundance and density, and marking behaviors that are specific to the snow leopard.”
Since that time, Dr. Jackson has trained biologists across many of the snow leopard’s 12 range countries in field survey methods. His passion, however, rests with helping local people coexist with this elusive predator.
Dr. Jackson and Darla Hillard’s continued work with rural communities led to the establishment of the Snow Leopard Conservancy in 2000 and the development of grassroots interventions, including predator-proofed corrals, Himalayan Homestays, and other economic incentives for transforming the snow leopard from a pest to a valuable asset in the eyes of local people.
Today, the Conservancy actively partners with local communities in Bhutan, India, Altai and Buryat Republics of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Nepal, and Pakistan.
Excerpt: Shavaun Mara Kidd and Bjorn Persson, Searching for the Snow Leopard, Guardian of the High Mountains, (New York: Arcade Publishing, 2020), 2.
Our program, Connecting Communities For Conservation is built on the foundation that local communities are at the heart of saving snow leopards.
International Snow Leopard Day Festival – Kyrgyzstan
2021 U.S. Headquarters Staff Rodney Jackson PhD Founder-Executive Director Darla Hillard Land of the Snow Leopard Network Facilitator Ashleigh Lutz-Nelson Vice President Charleen Gavette Conservation and Education Program Manager Joyce Robinson Administrative Assistant Shavaun Kidd Outreach Manager Kathy Ah San Accounts and Office Administrator 2021 Board of Directors Caroline Gabel Chair Rodney Jackson President Carolyn MacKenzie Secretary Bob Wilson Treasurer Mary Herrmann Trustee Tshewang Wangchuk Trustee 2021 Advisory Board Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten PhD IUCN Cat Specialist Group Renee Bumpus Conservation Manager, Houston Zoo Don Hunter PhD Founder, Rocky Mountain Cat Conservancy Kristin Nowell Director, Cat Action Treasury Barbara Palmer Husbandry Advisor, AZA/Felid Taxon Advisory Group Camille Richard Rangeland Ecologist George Schaller PhD Mike Weddle Science Instructor-Retired