wildleopard.net – Focus on Panthera Pardus

The independent site wildleopard.net is currently parked at this page as the Leopard Task Force (LTF) works on new strategies and partnerships for 2019.

The LTF is a network of organizations and individuals collaborating for the betterment of panthera pardus, the leopard, the least supported and most persecuted of the big cats.  Currently our focus is on South Asia and later in 2019 we’ll give details of Project Leopard Nepal but the LTF is a collaboration concerned with the species throughout its global range.

Many thanks to those who have followed our work which has included innovative projects such as Ecosystem Reboot (leopard rehabilitation, release and rewilding) and Coexistence Strategies.  We’re looking forward to bringing more information on the Kathmandu Leopard Project which is using cutting edge genetic analysis as well as other projects bringing protective measures using LeopardEye.

As we go through 2019 we’ll also be adding content to wildleopard.net so as to be a resource rich platform bringing information, news and conservation solutions for panthera pardus.

Below is a short summary of some project work that was shown at the previous website:

Ecosystem Reboot – Leopard Rewilding Program

Collaborations in Nepal between the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and WildTiger have seen injured and orphaned leopard cubs raised to maturity and then rewilded using soft release strategy.  Jack Kinross (WildTiger) and Dr Aashish Gurung ( NTNC – Biodiversity Conservation Centre) headed programs which have become instrumental in ongoing understanding of leopard rescue and rehabilitation strategy.  Currently NTNC and WildTiger are working on protocol development to further aid human and leopard coexistence in Nepal.  These developments will be published later in 2019.

Human – Wildlife Conflict Mitigation

As part of our coexistence strategy Wildtiger has implemented early warning systems using mass SMS send outs.  In the buffer zone of Bardia National Park (West Nepal) we handed out over 300 mobile phones and training to facilitate better communications when wild elephants and leopards were known to be in village areas.  Our ‘gear guru’ Bernd Hirthe also researched and provided over 400 flashlights with a strobe setting which was tested successfully by Jack Kinross to deter wild elephants and leopards.  These flashlights have been distributed in highly affected areas through Bardia and Arghakhanchi.

Bernd continues to research and source flashlights which have proved successful in these mitigation efforts.  To contact Bernd and find out more please email projects@wildtiger.org

Leopard Monitoring

Nirajan Chhetri, Rapid Response Team (RRT) leader monitors leopard activity in village areas close to Bardia National Park.  Daily communications with conservation authorities and key community personnel are part of Nirajan’s tasks so as to ensure safety for both people and leopards.  This is a pilot program from which the learning is being taken into protocol development.

The new wildleopard.net site will have a strong focus on the Prajwol Manandhar led Kathmandu Leopard Project. 

Prajwol has been at the forefront in developing leopard DNA fingerprinting which has already helped in the first confirmed identification of a captured leopard involved in human fatalities in central Nepal.  This match up was a major breakthrough in human – leopard conflict mitigation and was a Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal (CMDN) combined initiative with WildTiger.

The new site will also lead in to information regarding the Annapurna Leopard Project as well as other collaborations throughout South Asia and beyond.  During workshop discussions with partners it was also decided the site will be an open resource for mitigation and rescue/rehabilitation strategies.