Blog: Conservation Leadership

Tracking & Protecting the Elusive Snow Leopard

This is part of a series of blog posts featuring guest speakers at the Wildlife Conservation Expo at Brookfield Zoo on Saturday, May 9, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The expo is presented by the Chicago Zoological Society, Wildlife Conservation Network, and Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Snow leopards are often associated with beauty and mystery. Unfortunately, these big cats are on the brink of extinction. They are hunted for their exquisite fur, while their bones and organs are harvested to be used as medicine. Fortunately, there are people like Dr. Rodney Jackson who are working hard to keep snow leopards in existence.
Dr. Jackson is the founder and director of Snow Leopard Conservancy, a non-profit organization that engages local people living in and around the snow leopard habitat to build ways that both populations can live in harmony. Their programs have become a model for community-based conservation to help preserve a species that is so highly endangered.
According to his interview with PBS in 2010, Dr. Jackson became interested in snow leopards when he saw the first picture of a wild snow leopard published in National Geographic magazine. He had to see one of them for himself.
Dr. Rodney JacksonDr. Jackson was quoted in the interview saying, “In 1975, I ended up in a very remote area in Nepal that looked like a very good habitat for snow leopards. I found their signs [marks] and saw plenty of evidence of poaching of snow leopards and their prey. I quickly realized we would have to do something if this cat was going to survive.”
Dr. Jackson is now the world’s leading expert in wild snow leopards having more than 30 years of experience researching the big cats. He led the standardizing of the methods used to track snow leopards in numerous countries. He has also written or co-written chapters in books, co-authored papers, and published a comprehensive handbook on how to track snow leopards using camera traps.

Dr. Jackson is one of the featured speakers at the Wildlife Conservation Expo, a premier international conservation event that will bring researchers from the field and local and international organizations. He will be joined by four other global conservation leaders: Dr. Gary Wolfe, Vital Ground; Shivani Bhalla, Ewaso Lions; Dr. Iaian Douglas-Hamilton, Save the Elephants; and Susana Cárdenas-Alayza, Msc., Chicago Zoological Society, Punta San Juan Conservation Program.  Tickets to the expo are available at $50, while student admission is $25. Register now at

Photo credit: Dr. Rodney Jackson's photo from Snow Leopard Conservancy website

Posted: 5/7/2015 9:57:09 PM by Filed under: animal welfare, Dr. Rodney Jackson, snow leopard, Wild Conservation Expo

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