Working in what is dubbed the ‘roof of the world,’ Tanya Rosen is a passionate voice for the conservation of wild cats — snow leopards in particular.
In the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan, Tanya’s work as Snow Leopard Programme Coordinator for conservation organization Panthera aims to secure a future for one of the world’s rarest wild cats, nicknamed Asia’s Mountain Ghost because of its elusive nature.
The Pamir Mountains form the intersection of several of Asia’s greatest mountain ranges. They are a critical link between the southern and northern parts of the Snow Leopard range - a vital corridor for the species’ genetic interchange.
Snow leopards prey mainly on Marco Polo Sheep, Ibex and Markhor but extensive poaching of these animals by local communities is now a major threat to the leopards. Overhunting of prey species can force snow leopards to prey on villagers’ livestock, often resulting in the retaliatory killing of these big cats. Trade in snow leopard skins and other parts for the illegal wildlife trade is also a growing threat to the species.
Sustainable use of the Argali Sheep, a key prey species for the leopards in Tajikistan, is critical for conserving the snow leopards. But there are several challenges in achieving this including illegal and possibly unsustainable trophy hunting, a lack of a transparent system for the distribution of hunting quotas and poaching.
Tanya, who has had a life-long passion for large carnivore conservation, works with communities on the Pamir plateau to try to reduce human-snow leopard conflict and help develop community-run conservancies. More....