1 August 2021 – A LINE IN THE SAND MOMENT IN THE FUTURE OF THE LEOPARD… This is an ongoing piece being added to through the month of August before an announcement in September as to the direction of this site. As written at WildTiger, today (1 August) marks 6 months out from the start of the next Year of the Tiger, beginning 1 February 2022. For me personally 1 February will mark a day twelve years before when the previous Year of the Tiger in 2010 took me deeper into the world of the leopard. So read on below as August rolls by and you can also check out blog posts including Feeling safe is key to coexisting with the leopard which is a short piece pre-empting this one.
My journey with the leopard goes back much further than that, a seizure of 109 leopard skins in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2003 having significant impact on me because when I arrived in the city a few days later there was very little reaction to the seizure. The country was still engulfed in civil war at the time and much like the covid pandemic now, it was of course the over riding thought on people’s minds. I’ve referenced that seizure before and I will again in more detail in a larger body of work but for now I want to focus on what I’ve learnt about people’s attitude towards the leopard.
Writing this from my base at Bardiya National Park is significant because here in western Nepal stretching through the Indian State of Uttarakhand literally 100s of people have been killed by leopards over the years. The same area is also a global hotspot for the poaching of leopard and the trafficking of its body parts. Many of you reading this would have come across the writings of Jim Corbett in which he describes his hunts of man-eating big cats including the Leopard of Rudraprayag, the alleged killer of 125 people in Uttarakhand just over 100 years ago. Back then man-eaters were rare but fast forward to today and already seven leopards classified as killers of humans and a constant threat have been shot dead this year alone in government sanctioned incidents in Uttarakhand. Add to this the shooting of leopards in other parts of India as well as Nepal.
Corbett wrote in his book The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag, was “not against the laws of nature, but against the laws of man”.
In many ways Corbett’s words all those years ago sums up the plight of the leopard. The words of another man, much more recently, confirm that.
Lakhpat Singh Rawat has killed over 50 man-eaters in Uttarakhand, he is a teacher who is often summoned by authourities to deal with problematic leopards. Rawat believes the leopard faces a major drawback: no one cares about it compared to its much-celebrated cousin, the tiger. Rawat talks about the time he killed a tiger in 2011. “First everyone wanted me to kill the tiger. But when it died, there were protests. No one cares about the leopard like that.” Children continue to be the main victims when leopards kill people in Uttarakhand, a State which has seen 455 humans die this way this century alone.
This issue means the leopard has a major profile problem in this part of the world.
On the flip side is the sheer scale of leopards being killed by us. Poaching and trafficking incidents alone this year, as at 1 August across India and Nepal, amount to close to 150 known deaths of leopards. As I’ve written several times before, it is the unknown figure which is even more disturbing.
As I continue this piece through August I’ll describe why leopards are being killed in these huge numbers, what their body parts are being used for and what the ecological effects of this carnage are. The conflict, fatalities on both sides, humans and leopards, has links but the one most important driver is the over riding attitude towards this big cat. More soon…
12 July 2021 – Latest blog post HERE – “Interim July post as persecution of leopard continues in South Asia” which will also link you to previous blog posts. Other updates and information about this site can be found as you scroll down this page.
1 July 2021 – Many thanks for visiting the site, scroll down and/or read the posts, update later in July and you’ll see considerable content changes in August.
UPDATE 04 June 2021 – Leopard body parts seizures and poaching incidents are at a higher level so far this year than at any other stage this century across India and Nepal. There will be a mid year update at WildTiger during July.
23 MAY 2021 – Latest blog post HERE – “UPDATE: Reality check – covid and poaching figures tell a serious story…” with an appended update on 28 May.
UPDATE 20 MAY 2021 – Thanks to those who have made contact of late, read below to understand the situation and I can be contacted at email@example.com if you can help.
SKIN IN THE GAME… Thanks to those who have made contact re #leopard issues of late, all help is truly appreciated. Covid has really complicated things, so far 2021 has been bad for the spotted cat, if it continues this way it'll be one of the worst years on record. Update soon. pic.twitter.com/M36cfLS2Ge— Jack Kinross (@JackKinross) May 9, 2021
Latest Blog Post HERE – Read below for more about this site and other updates.
“When I’m not in the jungle or the mountains, I’m often writing. I’m usually writing about the jungle and mountains”.
19 April 2021 – Incredibly busy time at the moment, please read the updates below and there’s blog posts to the right if you are on PC and at the bottom if you are on mobile phone. At the moment my main focus is on #AntiSnare (leopards are and have been for some time all too frequent victims in snare traps throughout South Asia) but there are also many hours in the day being spent on human – wildlife conflict especially in regard to leopard behaviour/activity. I’ll post an update on the situation in May.
Leopard Hotline – As per our work at WildTiger:
Leopard Hotline – available for concerns regarding leopard (and other wildlife) activity in your area.
Your call will be answered by a CBAPU member any time day or night. While we deal directly with cases in west Nepal we welcome calls from anywhere (in South Asia) if you have concerns regarding leopard activity in your area. It is not restricted to leopard and if you have concerns regarding other species such as tiger or elephant where human life is at risk we will receive your call. Depending on the situation your case may be referred to people who specialize in leopard behavior or of the species your call is regarding. While human – wildlife conflict is a primary concern please feel free to give information regarding wildlife crime (including retaliation killing) especially regarding leopard but once again we are open to information regarding all species. We understand you may want to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of such cases and you have the option of setting your phone so that your number does not display otherwise you can request confidentiality.
The set of circumstances regarding the dry season, the forest fires and covid-19 means we are being proactive in reducing human – leopard (and other wildlife) conflict with strategies specific to this situation.
This is a WildTiger initiative in collaboration with conservation partners and run through the CBAPU (Community Based Anti Poaching Unit) network. This notice is currently being translated into other languages and an online reporting platform (including anonymity if required) is currently being constructed.
15 March 2021 – Many thanks for visiting the site. The plight of the leopard is a major part of my life right now, years of understanding (including living with one in the wild) and fighting for these animals has motivated me even more as we go forward. Throughout the year (leading up to the Year of the Tiger which starts on 1 February 2022 and has significance for all big cat species) I’ll be expanding this site with general information regarding the leopard but also bringing into focus our very relationship with the jungle, with nature. Currently my own work focus is very much on #AntiSnare, the leopard is being killed in disturbing numbers, something I’m dedicated to reducing as much as possible. More on that also throughout the year, in the meantime you can read updates below as well as blog posts, some of which link to our work at WildTiger and others which are my own personal take on wildlife, especially big cat, issues. To support us in any way please email firstname.lastname@example.org, we have a policy of one on one contact with our supporters.
UPDATE 25 JANUARY 2021: So much going on at the moment, I’ve written a very short blog post called:
Big Cats, Wildlife, Monitoring, Learning, Coexistence, Survival…
(and since then another called Caught in a snare, who does really care?)
UPDATE 1 JANUARY 2021: Many thanks for visiting this site, maybe you are interested in leopards, maybe you follow our work at WildTiger. I’ve written a short reflection of 2020 in a blog post HERE, you can also scroll down to get more thoughts on the year that was. A further, more comprehensive update soon (the content at this site is getting revamped later this month) about the way forward, both in our work at WildTiger but also for this animal close to my heart, the leopard, a species which needs our help as it faces challenges like never before. UPDATE 6 JANUARY 2021 – A short blog post HERE called: Big Cats, we’ve got to at least let them have the night…
UPDATE 30 NOVEMBER 2020:
Namaste, Jack here, many thanks for visiting this page, I’ll have a full update in a blog post in early January 2021. A lot going on at the moment and I’m currently focused on #AntiSnare (including Ecosystem Reboot, putting leopards back where they belong) but also still work on the ‘Living with Big Cats’ project which focuses on coexistence strategy and implementation. Please check out the latest blog posts but please also read below:
UPDATE 20 July 2020 – Accuracy of information
There’s so many reports at the moment I’m struggling to keep up. When I’m in the jungle now I don’t check the alert system on my phone, I only respond to calls otherwise I wait until I’m back at my laptop. This leopard was allegedly beaten to death by villagers in Uttar Pradesh two days ago but details are still sketchy. Many incidents are not going to media now, it’s not new news anymore. I appreciate everyone sending messages, please try and verify information especially location as this is really important. Follow up means first ascertaining if it was a conflict or poaching issue. If it was poaching then the next step includes trying to understand if it was the work of subsistence poachers or target species hunters. There are many levels to all this and accuracy of information is vital, it means once facts are established then the right people can become involved depending on the circumstances. There is not a blanket reason why all this is happening except that it is a monumental failing in human society. Each case has its own variables however and to reduce the chance of further incidents the truth has to be dug out. Believe me, this is a lot of work…
The most recent blog post is HERE but please also read below:
An unprecedented frequency of incidents including leopard body parts seizures, leopards caught in snares and retaliation killings (leopards killed during conflict situations) has meant I’ve had to put extra focus on #AntiSnare (brief blog post HERE) which will have updates at this site and at WildTiger which is currently having changes made as we streamline our work due to the pandemic.
Blog posts HERE about an incredibly important court case and a post HERE explaining a little about why I must show images like the one below, the situation is deadly serious. More about the ‘The Importance of Leopards’ concept in that post as well as further down this page.
UPDATE 20 June 2020 – This site is currently transitioning to the The Importance of Leopards concept which will include an eBook series of the same name. The first book is due in May 2021 at the same time as the start of our new support platform. Our social media sites as well as WildTiger will announce the changes. If you’d like to offer support in the meantime please contact email@example.com
If you are new to what I write then maybe you can read:
I can be contacted personally through social media at:
Once again, thanks to those who follow, support and care about the issues I write about here motivating our work at WildTiger.
This is an incredibly important time for the leopard and so many other wildlife species. Join me and work together to safeguard these magnificent animals. Thank you for caring and my regards to all as we go forward.
More about #AntiSnare – Video Teaser