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Thank you so much for coming along with me this week as I try out some fun Gifts in a Tin ideas! Christina is a crafty mommy to three little girls, a wife to one handsome hubby, and they all live in a home they built themselves in rural Alberta, Canada.
Safety One International - The leader in safety training for utilities, government, and corporations worldwide. Taza will eventually move to another zoo where he’ll be paired up with a female snow leopard as part of the Species Survival Plan. The Memphis Zoo announced the birth of a baby snow leopard!  The male cub was born to parents Ateri and Darhan.
In the wild, snow leopards inhabit Central Asia.  It is estimated there are only 4000-6500 snow leopards remaining, according to the IUCN. With this adorable baby onesie by Grizzly Bear Greetings, your baby's legs become the sloth's legs! First listed as globally endangered in 1972, snow leopards have declined by 20 percent over the past two decades throughout most of the 12 Central Asian countries they inhabit, from Afghanistan in the west to Mongolia in the east. Yet the prospects for the so-called grey ghost of the Himalayas appear much brighter in Bhutan, the homeland of Tshewang Wangchuk, a biologist dedicated to keeping the elusive cat a permanent fixture on the landscape he knows so well. To gauge the health of snow leopard populations, biologists often survey the landscape for scat, tracks, scrapes and other potential signs of their distribution and abundance.
That approach works well enough in the drier regions of the western Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau, Wangchuk says. Wangchuk thought genetics approaches might provide more reliable identifications, but wasn’t sure he could even get enough scat to run DNA tests. The team found evidence of “snow leopard hotbeds,” Wangchuk says, with multiple groups of three or four cats at a time. The team also discovered that it’s not practical to rely on tracks, scat and other signs to monitor the cats because the rich diversity of similar-bodied animals confounds identifications.
The research confirmed that the expense and logistical challenges of deploying camera traps and sign surveys in the rugged, inaccessible haunts of the snow leopard make these approaches impractical in Bhutan.
Bhutan’s forbidding landscape may make tracking leopards tougher for biologists but it also protects the rare cat from mining, illegal logging and other habitat-destroying activities that threaten the species in northeast India, Mongolia and other regions. Oftentimes, when herders lose a yak to a snow leopard, Wangchuk says, they consider it a sign that they have disappointed their protective deities.
His biggest fear is that these tolerant attitudes could shift – triggered, paradoxically, by groups trying to reduce conflict.
He’s seen herders fed up with filling out forms then waiting endlessly to get $60 for animals valued at $200. A better strategy would be to build on people’s tolerant attitudes and find ways to offset their losses. After Wangchuk’s DNA analyses and further field investigations by the parks revealed that snow leopards are thriving in Bhutan, he turned his attention to the people who live among the furtive felines.

One young yak herder asked Wangchuk to bring him a phone with a high-resolution camera so he could take better pictures of the leopards he sees when he’s grazing his herd. For Wangchuk, turning what could be seen as a liability into an asset depends on building community infrastructure, from keeping yaks disease-free to improving public health and education. Wangchuk just returned from the second Jomolhari Mountain Festival, where community members celebrate their culture and traditions – all while paying tribute to the dappled grey ghosts of the high mountains.
Recent discoveries show that Bhutan is also a hotbed for tigers (Panthera tigris), the closest evolutionary relative of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia).
Reading this article makes me so happy and also at the same moment sad, butan the land of snowleopards , i hope the local community start taking the step in conservation and protect this percious cats.. National Geographic has been showcasing the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan for a hundred years.
Gross National HappinessTravel to Bhutan with photographer Lynsey Addario and hear how the Buddhist kingdom is moving into a democratic future. Happy Talk in BhutanBhutan was first thrust into the world spotlight back in the 1970s when the king, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, announced that his country would abandon the materialistic metric of gross national product (GNP) as a measure of development success and replace it with its own model, Gross National Happiness (GNH). Trekking Bhutan’s Higher PlanesOn a 24-day expedition into the sacred heart of the Himalaya, Kira Salak logged some half million steps over 216 miles (328 kilometers)—and that was only half the journey.
Research, Conservation, ExplorationA young yak herder, Wangchuk, captured this footage of snow leopards with camera traps provided by the Bhutan Foundation and biologist Tshewang Wangchuk, also a National Geographic Waitt grantee.
I am convinced the secret to the successful Christian life is a daily walk with God.  We know Church, Christian fellowship, good Christian music, good Christian books and Christian media are great, but a daily quiet time (a daily consistent reading of the Bible and prayer) will transform your life.
I would like for you to join me this year in a daily quiet time as we challenge hundreds of students, parents and leaders to participate.  My goal is to challenge 1400 by 2014 to be a part of our Teen Quest quiet time challenge.
Yet its secretive nature and penchant for living among some of the steepest, remotest mountain ranges on the planet have not saved the cat from human intrusions throughout most of its range. Human activities – primarily habitat destruction, poaching and retaliatory killings to avenge livestock losses – present the biggest threats to the species’ survival. But the monsoons that drench Bhutan also degrade scat and tracks, already hard enough to distinguish from those left by Bhutan’s diverse assemblage of native foxes, felines and wild dogs. Thanks in part to funding from the National Geographic Waitt Grants Program, Wangchuk, who now directs the Bhutan Foundation, and his collaborators managed to collect hundreds of samples.
Since the species prefers a solitary lifestyle, Wangchuk thinks the groups were likely mothers with grown cubs. Even Wangchuk’s most experienced trackers would swear that a scat came from a snow leopard out in the field only to be proved wrong more than half of the time by DNA tests back at the lab. Likewise, poaching and retaliatory killing for livestock predation, serious threats in other countries, are largely absent here, Wangchuk says.
Conservation organizations have tried to implement livestock compensation programs used in Africa and other countries in Bhutan. By spending time with the herders, Wangchuk and his colleagues have found a promising strategy to do just that.

Working with several partners, including JDNP, the Department of Livestock Services, the Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division, and the Snow Leopard Conservancy, Wangchuk focused on building community relationships. The herders not only take pictures and videos of the leopards but also keep tabs on their favorite prey, the blue sheep.
He promised to pay Wangchuk back, not just for the cost of the camera but with documentary evidence of the cat’s whereabouts.
He’s even talked with herders who have come upon a group of snow leopards feeding on one of their yaks only to exclaim, ‘Oh, look! For Wangchuk and his collaborators, community building goes hand in hand with snow leopard conservation.
Biologists are finding tigers at 2,500 to 4,000 meters in Bhutan’s mountains, Wangchuk says, offering new insights into the biology of one of Earth’s most endangered big cats. He is shown standing in the doorway of his residence, wearing the insignia of the Order of the Indian Empire, which was bestowed on him by the British Government before his elevation to the throne. I also share fun things on Instagram and my new YouTube channel and I'd love to connect with you there. Credit Buddhist ethics that respect the predator’s place in the ecosystem, a healthy respect for laws that prohibit the killing of leopards and the enduring stories of an early king who treated snow leopards as a national treasure. But they’re based on notions about human-wildlife conflict that are totally foreign to the communities, Wangchuk says. Many supplement their income with sales of cordyceps, a fungal folk remedy that fetches thousands of dollars a kilogram.
Herders lose far more yaks to disease than to snow leopards, they discovered, mostly from the “gid” parasite.
Bhutan offers contiguous habitat from the Indian foothills all the way up to the glaciers, which may explain why one national park with an area of only 1730 square kilometers harbors more than 25 tigers.
Offering paltry fees as compensation is insulting, and worse, does nothing to reduce yak mortality, he says. Conservationists from the Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) have been working with veterinarians in Bhutan’s Department of Livestock to treat infected yaks as well as dogs, both strays and the Tibetan mastiffs that guard the herds, which serve as reservoirs for the Coenurosis parasite. Finding so many tigers in Bhutan puts a different face on the diversity of cats in Bhutan, Wangchuk says. In preparation for Christmas and simple and fun gift giving, I’ve been putting together some easy gift basket ideas for you.

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