A GPS collaring program supported by the WWF set out to track four healthy snow leopards in Dolpa in 2019; within two years of the collaring, all four leopards were dead. While the exact cause of these deaths is likely to remain a mystery, all signs point to the increasing competition between humans and wildlife for scarce resources. Snow leopards occupy an outsized place in the human imagination. They are a symbol of wildness and solitude. Iron age petroglyphs of the animals are etched across their habitat range in central and southern Asia, including one in Kyrgyzstan that appears to show nomads using a tame snow leopard to hunt ibex. Snow leopards also play an important role in Tibetan Buddhist legend and other local religions across the Himalaya. The large cats are beautiful, with thick white-gray fur dappled with black rosettes that camouflages them in the craggy, snowy mountains. And even for the most seasoned biologists, it’s rare to spot one in the wild, earning them the moniker “ghost cats.
Probable XI for Nairobi City Stars: Njunge, Okumu, Kennedy Onyango, Abdalla, Omwenga, Yidah, Otieno, Kimani, Okumu, Maloba, Kipkirui. Position AFC Leopards squad Goalkeepers Jeff Oyemba, Ezekiel Owade, and Benjamin Ochan. Defenders Yusuf Mainge, Washington Munene, Robinson Kamura, Robert Mudenyu, Collins Shivachi, Omar Somobwana, Clyde Senaji, and Lewis Bandi. Midfielders Said Tsuma, Peter Thiong’o, Gideon Waja, Fabrice Mugheni, Boniface Mukhekhe, Eugene Mukangula, Collins Shichenje, Austin Odhiambo, Marvin Nabwire, Jaffery Awiti, and Musa Saad. Forwards Harrison Mwendwa, Elvis Rupia, Hansel Ochieng, Bienvenue Shaka, Steven Otieno, Caleb Olilo, and Peter Thiong'o. Ingwe will come into the match after a 2-2 draw against Nzoia Sugar and coach Patrick Aussems has called on his players to go for a win. “We missed the derby against Gor Mahia and I can say my players rested enough for this game against Nairobi City Stars, and that is why I am confident we will win the game, ” Aussems told Goal.
Despite the threat of a 15-year jail sentence, retaliatory killings of snow leopards are also a relatively common occurrence. Lacking access to other means, shepherds will lace a snow leopard kill with rudimentary poisons like flea powder or insecticides, knowing that the cats will return later to feed. To increase the potency of the poison, sometimes they mix in broken razor blades, which causes a slow, painful death.
Goat skulls collected by villagers after a snow leopard massacred the herd. (Photo: Jigme Gurung) Koma is situated on the very edge of Nepal’s 1, 300-square mile Shey Phoksundo National Park, the largest in the country. In November 2019, officials from the National Park and the WWF placed GPS collars on two healthy male snow leopards, each weighing around 80 pounds. The animals were photographed and given names chosen by the local community before they were released, groggy and confused, back into the wild. Zebrong and Samling, three and six years old, instantly became darlings of the Nepali press.
It seems likely that he died from a fall while chasing prey or during a conflict over territory with a rival snow leopard. The other leopard, Zebrong, died in late May 2020. His GPS data showed that he was the likely perpetrator of a mass killing that claimed the lives of 50 goats. The proximity of his death to this incident indicates that his death was likely a retaliatory poisoning by villagers. However, it took national park authorities a month to reach the body due to heavy snow and difficult terrain—which meant they were unable to get tissue samples to prove it.
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Fifty-seven goats were killed and a number more injured. In a matter of hours, Gurung’s family’s entire livelihood was gone. Given the high price of animals, the debt required to rebuild his herd could set his family back for a generation. Gurung is sharply handsome: his angular face is sun-creased and framed by a thick head of long black hair, pulled back into a loose ponytail.
(The family who lost those goats to Zebrong lost an additional 101 goats in a separate mass killing by a snow leopard this past April. ) The WWF and the national park quickly mounted another collaring expedition to the same area in May 2021. The team successfully collared, photographed, and christened another two healthy males: Langyen and Ghangri Ghapi Hyul. Press releases showed each animal looking a bit stoned, wearing tight black collars affixed with two gray boxes, each slightly larger than a cigarette pack.
The herders take turns kicking the young animals and cursing them before they are tossed into a deep stone pit. In the conflict between shepherds and the snow leopards, there are no winners. Dolpa is home to one of the densest snow leopard populations in the world, but a growing number of leopards are found dead every year, despite extensive conservation efforts by the local Shey-Phoksundo National Park and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Still, many experts believe that, like many other wild species, the global snow leopard population faces unprecedented pressures from habitat loss and conflict with humans. The impacts of climate change are amplified across the mountains and steppes that snow leopards call home, where average temperatures are predicted to rise at a rate more than twice the global average. Wild prey herds are threatened by poaching, new diseases, and pests being introduced into the already fragile ecosystems. In 2017, Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, in partnership with the WWF, launched a $3.
No mention was made of the dead snow leopards from the previous year. Within months, Gangri Ghapi Hyul’s GPS collar triggered an emergency email to the WWF office back in Kathmandu indicating a potential mortality. A few days later, he too was found dead. In an email, a spokesperson for Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation acknowledged the deaths of the three collared leopards publicly for the first time. The statement claimed that the causes of death for all three “could not be reliably ascertained” but were most likely natural. But numerous community members, conservationists, and local officials suspect that’s wishful thinking. Ghana Shyam Gurung is a Nepali WWF representative and a designated Snow Leopard Champion for the organization. Tall, clean-cut, and careful with his words, he listed off a plethora of tactics currently in use to reduce retaliatory killings: building predator-proof corrals in local communities, providing training and support for alternative livelihoods and scholarships for local students, and funding a fledgling livestock insurance program.
The aim was to track the movement of the animals and better understand their range. This data would help conservation organizations estimate the total population in the region and confirm whether the leopards crossed the nearby border with China, which would demand an international approach to management and protection. Within six months of the collaring, both were dead. Samling’s body was recovered five months after his death at the base of a ravine so steep that national park authorities needed to rig a makeshift lowering system from nylon ropes to safely reach the body.
15 million, five-year snow leopard conservation action plan. The plan includes research, habitat improvement, community engagement, poaching reduction, and collaborating on similar efforts with India and China. The majority of these funds are earmarked for research, conferences, and reviews with little left over to support herders like Dakpa, who arguably provide the largest material subsidy for the survival of snow leopards, in the form of involuntary donations of livestock.
Ingwe and K’Ogalo didn't play in the derby which was scheduled for Thika Stadium on Saturday as they demanded their grants and prize money from Football Kenya Federation. Game Nairobi City Stars vs AFC Leopards Date Tuesday, August 03, 2021 Time 15:00 (EAT) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In Kenya, the game will NOT be LIVE on TV.
The WWF admits that none of these programs is large enough in scope to eliminate the conflict altogether. Another common approach to reducing livestock predation is to ensure that wild prey populations are healthy and adequate to sustain the local snow leopard population. But the truth is that livestock are a key part of the animals’ diet. A study implemented in Dolpa showed that areas with a greater abundance of wild prey actually exhibited greater losses of local livestock. Another study that analyzed DNA within snow leopard scat found that more than a quarter of the animals consumed by snow leopards, on average, are livestock.