We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong again Dr Daniel Taylor to lecture on the ‘Search for the Clouded Leopard’. In this lecture, Dr Taylor, famous for having successfully found the elusive Yeti to indeed exist, tells the story of his search for an equally elusive creature, the Clouded Leopard.
The rarest leopard in the world is the Clouded Leopard; it inhabits pristine cloud forests following an arc of mountains from the eastern Himalaya to the Indonesian archipelago. For two centuries the animal was known to exist, but scientists were never able to find the animal to study. Spotted Leopards were wellstudied, as was the Snow Leopard of the Himalaya, which by the 1990s had been radio collared, but there was no progress on the Clouded Leopard.
Dr Taylor became project leader of an international team determined to find the leopard. The site they chose was in India, in what was the British North East Frontier Agency, sandwiched between Burma, Bhutan and Tibet, now called Arunachal Pradesh, but claimed by China. Dr Taylor’s team was the first international group that has been allowed to the area for 50 years.
Dr Taylor’s team, including his 17year old son, lived in the jungle for six months with local hunters, gleaning details of where the elusive leopard had been seen, followed by training the hunters in using camera traps. It was rough territory, with weeks of trekking through mud and crossing through streams.
After a few months, the leopard was successfully located, then photographed. The first photographs taken in the wild were published in 2000 in National Geographic. Light was also shed on a its unusual existance, being mostly arboreal, thus with short, flexible legs, large paws and sharp claws to make it surefooted in the canopy. Its “clouded" coat was to allow it to merge with forest leaves.
Dr Taylor’s lecture tells of the adventure of locating the leopards, together with the stunning photographs of the leopard, plus the photographs behind the story.
Dr Daniel Taylor hails from the United States. Dr Taylor was educated at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard and Yale. His early career was as a teaching Fellow at Harvard and then with the US Agency for International Development. He has lectured and taught worldwide and is the author of more the 30 papers and books. Since 1993 he has been President of Future Generations. He holds the Order of the Golden Ark, presented by HRH Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands for work in international conservation and was a Commencement Speaker for U.S. Presidential Scholars. In 1985, he led the formation of MakaluBarun National Park and then of the Everest National Nature Reserve in Tibet. Subsequently, he led in the development of the Four Great Rivers Nature Reserve, an area the size of Italy. In addition, Dr Taylor led the series of expeditions that provided the scientific explanation for the Yeti (or Abominable Snowman), has developed an extensive portfolio of nature photography and founded five nonprofit organisations.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for members and HK$150 for guests and non members. No pre booking required for this lecture.