Vanishing Tracks: Four Years Among the Snow Leopards of Nepal by Darla Hillard
Accessible only by foot, the Langu Gorge in northwestern Nepal is high, inhospitable terrain broken by cliffs, ridges, and gullies, and it is prime habitat for snow leopards. Here, wildlife biologist Rodney Jackson planned to trap, collar, and radio-track these rare, elusive animals; Hillard, then a secretary and now Jackson’s wife, accompanied him. Hillard gives us a splendid vicarious adventure that ranges from enduring blizzards with only a tent for shelter to the elation of observing a leopard with cubs. Neither hazardous climbs and river crossings nor acute physical discomfort and mental strain fazed the intrepid Hillard and Jackson. Their four years’ work produced data on only five snow leopards, a species whose future is uncertain.