Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#SacredPlaces #leopard #conservation - Many thanks to those who care...

“The idea of a sacred place…is apparently as old as life itself.”
Joseph Campbell, The Mythic Image

Many thanks to those who have been following in general who care about these issues. A lot going on within the scope of leopard conservation and our focus of coexistence, rehabilitation and wildlife crime, I’ll have news on the Leopard Task Force dealing with those issues soon. By giving an animal such as the leopard its rightful place it helps restore and maintain nature, something we all need to happen...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

10 #leopard deaths - what if they had been #rhino, #elephant or #tiger?

10 #LEOPARD DEATHS, WHAT IF THEY HAD BEEN RHINO, ELEPHANT OR TIGER? ... Well I'm sure the whole world would be jumping up and down, as usual. But as usual again, this will be a point zero something on the richter scale.

Re posts yesterday (at my Facebook page, Living with Leopards and Twitter), 9 leopard skins seized in Uttarakhand and 1 in Baitaidi within 24 hours. It will be unlikely we'll know where they all came from but the point is EVERY ONE IS PRECIOUS, it doesn't matter what the regional or overall population is, EVERY DEATH AFFECTS THE ECOSYSTEM. I got a fair bit of correspondence and it frightens me no one touches on these points. I think the recent documentaries and stories about the Mumbai, Kathmandu and other urban leopards has given some people a false sense of security about leopard populations, that just shows how disconnected people have become when understanding the scientific reality about how predators function in ecology.
The blog I publish soon will probably be the last I say about it for a while because to be honest, I'm sick of talking about it, I've got a hell of a lot of work to do anyway. But it will hit hard. There is nothing good about this situation and support is thin on the ground, I'm sorry people, but that is about cold hard cash, we already have damn good people (some of the toughest people on the planet), it's resources we lack and likes etc on Facebook don't pay the bills.

The image is another one of The Boss (see post a few back), he's precious, he's a great cat, he's an ecosystem engineer. He's not a rhino, elephant or tiger though and the years have taught me, that if he wanted real protection, that was his biggest mistake. Well fuck that, we'll fight for these cats, support or no support...

Friday, April 14, 2017

What price a life? #AntiPoaching #WildlifeCrime

EFFECTIVE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - #AntiPoaching #WildlifeCrime - If you've heard a shot, it's too late, if you've found a snare you have to wonder how many times it has been used, if seizures of skins, bones, body parts are made then wildlife has already died - TARGET MIDDLE MEN, TARGET THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DRIVING #WILDLIFE CRIME... and TARGET THE FACTORS DRIVING IT including #poverty.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Don't disturb the spotted tiger, don't disturb the Boss...

This post is also at the Facebook page Living with Leopards

In the distance, as he crossed the river bed, we thought he was a tiger, a big cat with stripes.  There is a sub adult male finding territory, we wondered if that cat was finding his way, as he now seems to have sperated from his tigress mum.  The walk of this animal was languid but of a slightly shorter stride, ever so slightly hurried, like that of a young panthera tigris.

Closer examination (not too close) and we realized it was the Boss, a large male leopard whose behaviour I am slowly understanding.  It was the first time I had seen him in open terrain and it wasn't long before his beat line took him into thicker jungle.  It was a magnificent site and to a grizzled leopard conservationist who has encountered many leopards in different ways, it brought a great warming of the heart.

We were clearing cameras, part of a program I am conducting with the Rapid Response Team for anti-poaching and wildlife monitoring so although we had equipment not far away from where the Boss had gone, we decided to backtrack.  We did not want to disturb this supreme predator, it was still early enough in the day for him to hunt although my mind was telling me the Boss was maybe heading for a favourite tree in which to rest for the day, a shady welcoming place to escape the jungle heat.

My mind was also working out when there had last been sign of the Boss in that area when we came across two groups of women who wished to forage in the jungle, they had crossed the river and were on their way in when we warned them of the Boss.  Later that day we saw they had heeded our message, the women had worked an area close by where we saw them although one camera detected two women a little further in.   The warning was not just for their safety although the Boss is a very big cat, it was so the leopard could have his space, it was his turn in that patch of jungle, it was his turn to scatter deer and other prey, do the work that nature intended.

The Tharu people are predominant in the community along many parts of the Terai and soon I will write of their practice of Animism, their connection with nature, with jungle beings.   When one lives among big cats and especially such a mysterious animal as the leopard, it influences one's own being but I'm not talking about western fad "let's all become Buddhists or yogis" blah blah stuff, I'm talking about a very real energy which permeates very existence.  For me personally, because the leopard dominates how I live my life, I feel something missing when I am away from their habitat, I don't need to see them, I have other tools to help me understand them but my respect for them is such I don't want to stop working for them.

So an encounter with the Boss was a wonderful privilege, something I would never take for granted.  Later in the day I spent time with the captive conflict male leopard (Raj Kumar or RK), also a very big cat, I looked him in the eyes and promised him a bigger enclosure.  Then it was time spent with the rehabilitation leopard, Dipnani, but only a few seconds during a feed monitoring, she is isolated.  But my promise to her was also heartfelt, I would do my best that she would have freedom, the encounter with the Boss, seeing him be where he belongs, making sure he was not disturbed, influenced that promise... but as before, it comes from a very deep place anyway...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

#HumanWildlifeConflict a deadly serious issue of our times...

Via @WildTigerNews (
#SriLanka #HumanWildlifeConflict - Who Should Deal With The Human-#Elephant Conflict? (Article Here)
"This piece from Sri Lanka gives an understanding of the severity of the situation through many parts of Asia. Elephants and leopards (of the large mammals) are in frequent conflict with people, with many lives lost on both sides, this is a deadly serious wildlife issue. Re mitigation strategy, if people feel and are safe, they are far less likely to retaliate. Thus the issue has a high economic stability (poverty) factor. Until this is addressed properly we are simply in a holding position, the world has to wake up to this if these species are to have a future... #PovertySucks"

TIGER HONEY ... and sorry, I don't believe in zero poaching...

Regarding a post I made earlier today on Facebook, I was happy to give the first pot of TIGER HONEY to Amrita, the mum of Hemanta. Many of you know that Amrita lost her husband in an elephant attack in late 2009, it was shortly (at the start of the most recent Year of the Tiger) after that WildTiger began some support for Hemant so he could return to Bardia, be with his mum and carve out the anti-poaching and social work he has done so ably these last years. Tiger Honey is effectively a social enterprise that will enable a core team to continue the work and we'll be presenting the biological fence concept to the Chief Warden in a few days.

Anti-poaching has reared its head here in a big way this last day or so, many of you know that a rhino was killed in Chitwan. I've never bought into "zero poaching" anyway, I'm seeing too many leopards die so species specific "achievements" are not really real to me. But there has been a blame game going on as well, that too is meaningless, we all have to unite. I spent many hours today trying to get a new type of jungle security camera operational and as we placed other cameras in our local buffer zone forest before night fall, I felt a sense of desperation, it has long been thought that rhino poaching would strike here again soon as things taper off in Africa. The rhino wars are full on in Assam in India, it was only a matter of time before Nepal was hit again.

So the rupees that people will pay for Tiger Honey will make a difference, equipment and patrolling can be resourced as well helping mitigate human-wildlife conflict so that the tragedy that many like Amrita went through can be avoided. Wildlife conservation is very much about people... and now some honey bees have an extra role...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Different links for different things...

Many thanks to those who follow because you care about wildlife issues... and our coexistence with wildlife...

I'm going to start posting more images again soon (later in April), mainly at my own Facebook page and the and sites are currently being integrated to one site.

Our main twitter feed is @WildTigerNews (please follow to keep up with important wildlife stories in tiger and leopard areas) while my personal one is @JackKinross

A newer Facebook page but one that will take on increasing importance is

- this concept will also be published on other web platforms as the year goes by.  Thanks again for your interest and support, cheers Jack.