Thursday, June 22, 2017

Going the video way ... despite electricity shortage...

This post is at Facebook (along with updates) if you wish to comment

video

I've had a lot of people asking about this and just now another email from a tech guy in Australia suggesting the same thing. More and more orgs and people are using video clips and vlogs, I discussed it with some filmmakers here in Bardia recently as well, they said short clips, or bytes, are what is getting attention (based on shortening attention spans... um... remember those things called books?), so yeah, it seems it has to be in the mix.
Security (keeping wildlife locations safe) and being non-invasive have to be paramount. I do have a lot of footage (some of it crazy stuff) from fixed cameras, hand held and body mounted, it all has to be used at some stage. Time is the other issue, getting the balance right. It almost seems incongruent that I can post video that anyone in the world can see when half the time I don't even have electricity...



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Innovation, rebuilding ecosystems with a great engineer...

Many thanks for the messages, followings etc of late.  I'm really busy trying to get the leopard rehab area established at the moment so I'm a little behind in replies etc.


In the image is the leopard Dipnani in one of her rewilding areas, a safe night den as the zone does get visits from wild leopards in the area.  Dipnani is monitored by cameras, human contact is virtually zero.  I'll explain more about what is happening once I've got the next phase complete, a late monsoon (meaning it's been extremely hot for an extended period) and a challenging political situation here in Nepal have not made things any easier.

Below is a post I made at Facebook yesterday.  I am passionate about reintroduction of key species to rebuild ecosystems.  It also puts magnificent leopards like Dipnani back where they need to be, where nature intended.  We have to innovate to stay strong...

Hot, sweaty conditions and a wild leopard are enough to keep you very grounded. I wrote to a friend and colleague yesterday, he studies eagles, we had been discussing how apex predators strip away one's ego. A fired up leopard is a focused highly evolved biological entity, a force of nature. This animal has no political allegiance, no religion, no caste, it is a natural phenomenon with an athletic ability without peer, a sense of surroundings no human can ever hope to approach. I am a firm advocate of reintroduction of key species to rebuild ecosystems. Putting a leopard back where it belongs is a beginning to repave the path to perfection, because that's what nature is, no place for ego but a place to be thankful. Nature is our mother, let's help her out... #rehabilitation #rewilding #reintroduction

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The apathy regarding the plight of the leopard...

This post (and other updates) is at Facebook if you wish to comment...

"Leopards have vanished from at least 49 percent of their historic range in Africa and 84 percent of their historic range in Eurasia"


Getting more understanding and support re the plight of the leopard is a major challenge. The apathy is frustrating. I was thinking about this earlier this morning when we were in an interesting situation in the jungle. We were close to where a tiger was on a kill and although we couldn't clearly see what was going on we could certainly hear it. But our main observation was the behaviour of the chital (spotted deer) close by, there were quite a few and it was interesting to see their proximity to the predator over the kill. My mind flicked to the fact that the male leopard I am monitoring in that area has not been around very much. Tiger activity in that part of the jungle has increased as dispersal has taken place. The overall rise of the tiger population here means new challenges for leopards, already marginalized and without anywhere near the protection status as the tiger. I wondered how many people really cared, beyond posting a crybaby emoji that is.




Two more leopard skins were seized in Ktm yesterday (see article here) for every seizure there are any number of poaching and trade incidents that will never be known about.

So the leopard cops it on all fronts, reduced habitat, poaching and not enough emphasis on the situation. Well, I've said my piece, now for the rest of the day I've got a leopard to rehabilitate and rewild... because no matter what anyone thinks, the simple fact is every one is precious...

Via @WildTigerNews

Research suggests less affluent countries more dedicated to wildlife conservation than rich countries


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Meet "The Leopards" ... and last night the coach got chased by a wild elephant...



Maybe Anjel was the only football coach on the planet who had a scary encounter with a wild bull elephant last night. My post on Facebook last night which I updated this morning led into this but a series of events and mishaps led to Anjel having a lucky escape on the property next door. Strangely, last night while I was down by the river and the team was having a kick round I was thinking about a phone meeting I would have to have today, getting updates from the District Forest Office in Baitaidi regarding leopard attacks. Those of you who follow my posts will know that Baitaidi had a horrific spate of leopards killing children, kids just like the ones in the photo. I thought of that while the boys played. As I described in the post I saw the elephant in the distance and before I left Anjel and I were discussing the team and our plan for them as leopard ambassadors. Anjel has a passion for leopards and wildlife in general, yet a few hours later her life was under threat, the elephant had entered the property, heard her open her door and then charged.
I guess there's some synchronicity in that I live in a village where the kid's football team is called The Leopards. They're a really good bunch of boys, they chat about wildlife, they're proud to be called The Leopards. Good kids, living with wildlife, they all know other kids who have lost their lives to wildlife.
So it's this balance, this tolerance, this rawness and realism. Anjel does not think badly of the elephant yet he has killed people. As I worked with the rehab leopard today it was this ongoing dynamic where she would gladly take my face off, yet I am doing my best for her to live wild again.
It's hard to describe. The tolerance does not exist everywhere and sometimes the tragedies stretch things to the limit. It's awful to think what could have happened to Anjel. It's awful to think what has happened to children just like these boys. But life goes on, we need these animals and the challenges of human-wildlife coexistence are only going to become greater. How we manage them from this point is of vital importance...
These posts (and other updates) are at Facebook if you wish to comment.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Changing perceptions... more soon on FRIENDS of the LEOPARD...


Sometimes through all this those who are really passionate about leopards stumble across each other, and the admiration for these big cats carries through in conversations deep into the night. These people are rare, almost in the same elusive way the leopard is itself in its showing, it is always a great pleasure to have the encounter. It may turn into a working relationship, it may be more brief but a chance to learn...
A subject that always arises is the need to change perceptions of this animal, not an easy thing to do as the are difficult to see but often get into trouble, there is tragic conflict which does their reputation harm.
So strategies to improve their image but mostly to create better understanding of their importance, have to be carefully thought out. The years have taught me many reasons why the leopard is not a peachy favourite like tiger, elephant or rhino. But this can change, the true supporters can help save this cat... more soon on FRIENDS of the LEOPARD...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Not a totem, not a God, just an equal being...

This post (and other updates) is at Facebook if you wish to comment.


Thanks Sita for helping with the image. You can find these guys in many Tharu households, the tiger holds a special place in their fundamental practice of Animism.
I don't have time to go into this deeply now and while I personally don't have a religion or faith with a name, Animism does fascinate me especially with regards to human-wildlife coexistence. I get a bit worried when people start using words like totem etc because it's a fine line between that type of thinking and those which dominates practices which use wildlife body parts, there's a type of reverence which to me smacks of being unhealthy. Animism however is much more about equality (all living beings), something I do firmly believe in with regards to rights, place in the web of life. So putting the tiger top of the tree, questions have to be asked how that really fits.
I've had too many moving experiences in nature to categorize by way of faith, that's just my choice. I simply subscribe to the thinking based around the word respect, so equality feels comfortable to me. However such is the way we've managed to mangle ecosystems some hard decisions have to be made while rebuilding them. As someone pretty much in the jungle every day I appreciate very much the role of all living beings there, it's just that the way things have worked out some need our help desperately if they are to continue those roles...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Every leopard killed weakens the species...

Every day information and data comes through with regards to human-leopard conflict and wildlife crime (leopard related) in South Asia. A seizure of yet another leopard skin (and skull) in the middle hills, this time in Gulmi, will lead to follow up and investigation but lack of resources and lack of of emphasis on leopard protection (I have to admit the heat and the terrain don't help) means a likely stalling of process. Full protection status for the leopard must happen, and soon, there has to be greater emphasis by all stakeholders and the world at large. Every time a leopard is killed in these areas there is an ecologically negative affect even if it just genetic weakening by a territorial cat taken out. I wish more people understood this. It's frustrating...

This post (and other updates) is at Facebook if you wish to comment.