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18.07.2014
Some of us can love and appreciate the most dangerous animals on earth, but only at a distance. This friendship shows that these deadliest predators can become as gentle as your dogs and cats. Kevin has a conservation area, 30 miles north of Johannesburg, home to lions, leopards, hyenas, panthers and cheetahs.
Snow Leopards range widely across Central Asia, and are among the world's most endangered big cats.
CURWOOD: Well, as Ari Daniel argues, faith and reason can be complementary - and perhaps together they can achieve successes impossible to either of them separately.
Shan Shui means "mountain water" and the groups are turning their eyes to the mountains for conservation help from Buddhist monks. MCCARTHY: Globally the snow leopard range extends over a very large swath of central Asia, about two million square kilometers.
CURWOOD: So, Tom, your organization, Panthera, has enlisted the services of Buddhist monks to help conserve the snow leopard. Around each of the Buddhist monasteries, there’s a number of sacred mountains, sacred lakes that they routinely patrol to keep people from violating any of their regulations or for killing any animals.
So our partners at ShanShui, the conservation organization, went out and formed a partnership initially with four different monasteries, and what Panthera and Shan Shui do is provide the monasteries with a little bit of extra training, some of the basic tools that they need to do snow leopard monitoring, so now they can go out and not only protect snow leopards, but also count snow leopards.
Well, recognizing that that was a natural thing for them to do because of the great economic loss, they helped by instituting a livestock insurance program where the monks put their own money and effort in to create this program.
MCCARTHY: Well, we know within the villages where we currently have the livestock insurance program, there have been no snow leopards killed in the last two to three years. Buddhism is practiced across a huge percentage of snow leopard range, and so that means we’ve got an awfully big potential for expanding this program to other places, and we would have these natural partners in snow leopard conservation, impacting a very large percentage of the snow leopard population for us. Donate to Living on Earth!Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment. Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an autographed copy of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs.
I found my way to a Myanmar website today, I can’t remember why I ended up there but I stayed a while.


I just loved the photos of the Buddhist fellas and the unashamedly gaudy banners and fonts so I just collected a bunch of them and dumped them here.
Like previous Buddhist film nights the proceeds are going to support the Yerpa House Monks, Sera Mey Monastery, India. This year there will be two films: Brilliant Moon which chronicles the life of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche followed by the feature film, Un Buda - a contemporary film set in Argentina. Please help the monks by copying,posting,printing and sharing our tour posters,find them all below.
If you can help with an an event in your area or want to host an event or ask the monks to do Pujas, land or house blessings please see blank dates and book please remember the Monks are here to help the community and also to find much needed money to replace their flood damaged prayer hall. Or I should say, these pet lovers have a big heart that they can trust these man-eating animals — Bear, Lion, Tiger, Python, and Crocodile.
Tom McCarthy of the conservation group Panthera tells host Steve Curwood that Buddhist monks are employing their reverence for all living things to help save the snow leopard.
One example of that may be playing out at the moment at the top of the world - in the high mountains of Central Asia. Tom McCarthy is the Executive Director of Panthera and he joins us now from Seattle to explain how the monks are helping and why the leopards are so threatened. Across that entire area, there could be as few as 3,500 snow leopards remaining today, optimistically we might say it’s as high as 7,000 remaining. Tom McCarthy and Yin Hang (Shan Shui) discuss snow leopard monitoring methods using GPS and other technology with Buddhist monks. George Schaller, join monks to worship at their sacred mountain and holy lakes near Xiari Monastery in Qumalai County, Qinghai Province.
And so she kind of put two and two together and already knowing that Buddhists have such a high reverence for life, that if those Buddhist monks in snow leopards habitat could be assisted just a little bit in the role that they already played in protecting nature in general, that it would probably be a very positive situation. They do an awfully good job of talking to their followers about protecting snow leopards and the value of snow leopards in the ecosystem, and the end result is we have a much stronger conservation ethic being imparted to the people across the plateau through the Tibetan monks. Now, going back to one of the threats that we had with snow leopards which is loss of livestock due to depredation by the cats - the monks recognize this as well. Now the individual herders can insure their yaks for just a few pennies each, and if any of them are killed by a snow leopard, then they’re compensated for that out of the insurance proceeds. And we know as we expand that, and we have plans to really expand that over the next couple of years, that we should see the same types of results.


We can’t point to anything more at this point besides positive movement in attitudes of the local people.
Most of the text is written as an image so even Google Translate can’t help me understand. On the other end, when it hits Eastern European fur markets, you know, it could be in the thousands. It actually came from a PhD research project of a Chinese graduate student, and she was first out trying to document the occurrence of snow leopards across a very large portion of the Tibetan plateau in Qinghai province, and one of the things in mapping their occurrence that she happened to notice was that snow leopard range corresponded very closely to where most Buddhist monasteries were in the region. In fact, a couple of years ago, there was an instance where three snow leopards - a female and her two nearly grown offspring - came into the village and killed several livestock, and the villagers killed all three snow leopards. But there might be hope for them in a new partnership between the conservation group Panthera, and the Chinese environmental organization Shan Shui. So when a snow leopard or any other predator takes one, it has a pretty large economic impact on them, so they’re somewhat inclined to go out and kill the snow leopard. And, of course, snow leopard hides, pelts and their bones are very very valuable on the black markets across the region.
But that’s nothing compared to what a single set of snow leopard bones is worth on the medicinal markets, which a single snow leopard could bring up to $10,000 just for its bones. They’re learning to document where snow leopards occur using specialized camera traps that we provide them - the infrared detecting motion-sensing camera traps. They help by enforcing, they help by preaching their religion and their love for all life, and they help by setting up these economic programs that help people when they are impacted by snow leopards.
Their bones are highly valued in traditional Asian medicine so a lot of them, so a lot of them are killed simply for economic reasons. So they’ll put those out around the monasteries, and then they can get photographs of the snow leopards and help count the snow leopards that they are there to save, and that also works out as a very valuable educational tool, because then they can show their followers, the snow leopards that are right there in their own surroundings, and so that really heightens the villagers awareness, and their appreciation for snow leopards.



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