Monday, February 3, 2014

Preparing to return to the Himalaya foothills this March.  I was really disappointing by not locating signs of tigers on our last trip.

Coming along this time will be retired wildlife inspector Bill Myers and a Nepalese wildlife biology student.  Bill will assist with training our Sherpa workers our student will be assisting with the collection of the biological data and helping with translations.

This coming February 18th, we will be holding a benefit concert in San Diego to raise a but of money for the March trip.  Even though things are relatively cheep in Nepal, the cost to traveling into the Himalayas is still dear.  The cost will be about $250/day for our team.  Please consider attending our event if you live in the San Diego area, or donating to the cause.  All donations are tax deductible. (Tax ID:  90-0926368)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Good day to you my fellow Adventure seekers!!

                Sorry I could not post anything last week, hadn't received any updates on the team's progress. But there is some very exciting news so let us not delay but get right into the thick of the jungle.

                Two weeks ago, I mentioned a couple of places, in the previous blog write up, and did not provide a picture of a map, my sincerest apologies. However. I am now going to correct that mistake hopefully providing some clarity and giving you all a chance to orient yourselves as to where the Nepal Tiger Project team is. So without further ado- here is Nepal, its right in between India and China.
Map of Nepal

Map of Jiri to Shivalaya (team's next location)

It has a population of about 27 million and has several district zones, approximately 75. The Nepal Tiger Project team was in Jiri, which is in the Dolakha District, within the Janakpur Zone. This zone borders reach from the Indian border on the south side to the Tibetan border on the north side.

I hope that clarifies things a bit, and again my sincerest apologies J

Present Day...

                After touching down in Jiri, the team continued to Shivalaya while it was STILL raining. Between these two cities is very hilly or mountainous, and with the rain and multiple species of leeches the trek is a very difficult one. In  John's words: "...our two day trek the hardest of the three times I've visited this country. It got so bad at times that I really wanted to quit and turn back. Even the local guys I hired to carry supplies where having a tough time of it". Because of such unfavourable conditions, they were unable to make it to their base camp right away; but were able to stay at the home of local team member to wait out the rain. And while taking this temporary, weather dependent breather; a few of the local team members went scouting to see if they could find anything, and one of the members came back with what is believed to be scat samples of a tiger!!!! It hasn't been analyzed as of yet since it was so fresh, but keep those fingers and toes crossed that it is indeed from a tiger! They stayed at this location for 2 before heading out again ONLY to be stopped by the rain! Luckily, they were able to make it to another local team member's home to again wait out the rain- and after another 2 days they were able to make it to their base camp. WHEW...that's a lot of rain. And while they were hoping that the rain would be a blessing, making the process of tracking easier, it appears no leopard or tiger tracks have been reported near the site they were seen last year :(
                But fear not fellow adventureans, as they are spotting some other wildlife near their base camp area. They have so far spotted the Asian Black Bear, Barking deer, Hog deer,  the Sloth Bear,  Nilgai antelope (locally referred to as Black deer) ; despite the last two are not part of Nepal wildlife according to the Wild Mammal's of Nepal field guide- and if anyone has more information on that, please let us know!! The Nepal Tiger Project team have managed to collect samples of all these animals and I save the best news for last J! After moving their campsite closer to the village's corn crop, more so to the edge of the forest, a 'suspected' tiger print was found!!!!!!!!!! The tiger print was found in the highlands, by one of the team members- although there was a slight mishap in measuring the tiger print. Hopefully there will be no more kinks in their tracking and a little less rain. As John said "Rain is good for tracking bears and deer but not cats".
Hog Deer, Hyelaphus porcinus
Asian Black Bear, Ursus thibetanus

Barking deer, Muntjacs

Nilgai Antelope, Boselaphus tragocamelus

Sloth Bear, Melursus ursinus

If you would like to read John's original posting, it is posted on the Nepal Tiger Project Facebook page (they just posted some recent pictures too it looks like):

                And since this post is so long I will be doing an entirely separate one for tiger facts. And it will be up very soon. I also want to mention if you are interested, do not hesitate to donate! John would really like to get a few more biologists going with him on these trips but finances can be tight sometimes. But that is it for me, for now but I will be back soon, very soon, with some more wonderful tiger knowledge!

Till next time adventureans!

Sources for pictures: 

Monday, September 2, 2013

        An exuberant hello to you fellow adventure seekers!!

Sorry I meant to post this Sunday morning, and as you can clearly see- time got away from me just a wee bit. Anyhoo in more exciting news, John and the Nepal Tiger Project team have officially made it to Kathmandu- where they are currently experiencing a lot of rain. But any hardship can be turned into a positive and they are hoping the rainfall will only prove to be beneficial in tracking tiger tracks, if they are able to get out in time- so keep those fingers and toes crossed!! John was able to send me a little message to update everyone:

 I arrived into Kathmandu yesterday afternoon after spending the pervious day in Delhi, India.  Kathmandu was about 20º C/ 70º F and raining when we touched down.  Its the end of the rainy season.  My host told me the road leading to the edge of the Himayala foothills  is un-passable, so will be taking an alternative route, which will make our car journey a bit longer and the hike up to our project area longer and steeper.  (Oh, Joy!)  I will have plenty of ticks and leeches to look forward to.  I can feel them crawling on me now.  :) as much as I enjoy nature, I am not a fan of ticks or leeches.

On a brighter note, becuz of the rain, we may be able to see some great prints left by tigers and leopards!  That is, course if it doesn't rain continuously.

                Pretty cool stuff!! John and the team were also able to send me some photos of them packing for the trip so those are the photos scattered throughout this blog post for your viewing pleasure: them packing in Kathmandu, lunch and tea, and Jiri (which is a village in Dolakha District). And lastly, an update on the transition from blogger to Word press-  it should be happening very soon, we’re trying to make it a bit more aesthetically pleasing, and that is really the only issue that remains- well that and I can't seem to access it yet (hahahaha oh technology). Of course when it becomes official I will let you all know ASAP, hopefully next Sunday, so you can continue to follow along on this grand journey. Hopefully the leeches will not suck the fun out of it (see what I did there). 

Keep it real my fellow adventurers,

P.S. I will post double the amount of tiger facts for my next post. Scouts Honor (honour if you're Canadian)


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Hello Readers!!

   There's a new blogger in town...and it's me! Muwahahahahaha!!!!!! Just kidding about the evil laugh but the excitement is still one hundred percent there, and thus the exclamation marks will remain. I go by the name of Jizel (pronounced as Giselle), and as a new volunteer for the Nepal Tiger Project, it is my greatest pleasure to share all the exciting data John and team Nepal Tiger Project will be discovering while away on their adventure. I personally cannot wait to see and read about the adventures and findings their tracking tigers will bring and relay them to you! Being an avid fan of Panthera tigris, the tiger scientific name; I hope to do you, the readers, justice in telling this magnificent adventure and learning more about tigers as the journey progresses. SO let's start off with a couple of tiger facts, because ladies, gentlemen and all unassuming organisms this party is about to get started!!

Tiger Fact Number 1: Tigers are EXCELLENT swimmers! They love water, constantly seeking rivers or ponds to chill and relax in.  They are able to dive on unsuspecting prey from underwater as well as carry their prey through water

Tiger Fact Number 2: They have very strong memories. This coupled with their size and the amount of time they have been hunting large prey, makes them very skilled hunters.

Tiger Fact Number 3:  The tiger was first classified as a distinct species of cat in 1758. Though it has been around and hunting for approximately 2 million years!! That's a pretty long time.

Tiger Fact Number 4: There are only six remaining subspecies of tigers in the world, Bengal, Amur (Siberian is another name), Indonesian, Malayan, South China, Sumatran. The Siberian or Amur tiger is the biggest of all the subspecies, as measured by their skulls and the amount of folklore behind them. Amur tigers are also able to survive in harsher conditions were as their fellow subspecies would have a much more difficult time.

Tiger Fact Number 5: Each individual tiger has their own individual set of stripes. No two tigers' stripes are the same. The stripes are very useful as it makes it much easier for tigers to camouflage in their surroundings while hunting 

  And there you have it, some interesting tiger facts to get you started! Before I sign off, I want to let everyone know that the blog will be changing to a newer location on THE WEB, somewhere along the lines of Wordpress, is the rumor. I will keep you updated as I am, so you will know when to join us o'er yonder. Also, I am posting the link to the Nepal Tiger Project website, in case you want to learn more about the people travelling on this expedition, the actual project itself,  or if you want to donate- cuz let's be honest finding and trying to protect tigers can be expensive! Well that's all for me, until next time fellow adventure seekers


Nepal Tiger Project website

Tiger Facts information collected from:, Facts about Tigers, Date Accessed: Aug 25, 2013

Vaillant, J. (2011) The Tiger. Toronto, Ontario: Vintage Canada.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Three days and a wake up.

I am looking forward returning to Nepal to conduct more research and interview more villagers in the are concerning their knowledge of tigers living in the area.

On another note, I was fortunate enough to receive some last minute support from a few organizations.  TORG Outdoor Products ( provided a couple of day packs to help carry our camera traps into the field. The Freeland Foundation ( has shared their expertise in monitoring wild tigers and Takakp Sato with Tigers for Tigers  ( for sharing her contacts groups.

 Some organizations were are now partnering with on a humanitarian or scientific level include Project Doable (, Wild Tracks ( and the San Diego Zoo (

We can always use additional supplies, such as batteries for the camera traps, SD cards, inexpensive digital cameras, cooking equipment, etc.  If you live in the USA, your donation may be a tax deduction, but will nevertheless be greatly appreciated.

[ways to give: Via PayPal or Via Go Fund Me]

We hope to be sending reports back from the field, which will be posted on the Blog.  Jizel, from Canada has volunteered to keep you as up to date as possible on what we've encounter. 

Thanks, Jizel!

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Last year I made a promise to the School Master of a village school near are project area.  Actually, I made a few promises to him.  The first was simple enough to fulfill.  Obtain a couple of used laptop computers for staff and students to use for record keeping and conservation education.  My old employer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, came though today and donated one to the project.  As crazy as it made seem, computer use in this area is not common. So, computer training will also part of the commitment.  I do not want to make the school dependent on computers or technology.  I am merely providing a back up to their current records collection method (paper) as well as providing conservation education material. (Most of the records I observed at the school were mildewed.)

The other promise will not be so easy to fulfill.  Assist the village with finding a way to safely provide heat for the classrooms during the winter.  Insulating the building will help but, currently, body heat is the only source of heat in the rooms.  The winter cold is particularly tough on the younger students, making it difficult for them to concentrate.  Think about it. The school sits at about 3,000 meters in the Himalayan foothills...  It snows up there.

Ideally, I would love to have a big company donates solar collectors for the building. Any one have contacts or leads?
Floor of class rooms need improvement

Gutters need to be installed to channel away rain water

Monsoon rains are causing erosion around the class rooms

Village school

Sunday, August 4, 2013


In about 22 days, I will be back on an airplane, across the international date line, making my way into Nepal. After catching my breath in Kathmandu, I'll be  meeting with two local biologists interested in assisting with the Project.  Then its Preparation time.  Packing up supplies needed for a 25 day trek into the Himalayan foothills once again to interview villagers, document pugmarks (paw prints) and set out new camera traps. Twenty-five days may seem like a long time to stay in the field to gather data, but it is not.  We'll barely be able to set a foundation to keep the locals interested in working with us to uncover the presence of tigers among them.

 A one day car ride to where the road ends then a two day walk into the foothills to reach the project area, hovering around 3,200 meters. Not an easy trek for one who lives a sea level.

With less than 3,300 wild tigers known to roam this planet, less than 190 of those are believed to live on protected areas in Nepal.  The leopard population there is unknown.  The tigers and leopards I seek are neither none nor living on protected land.

In 2012, armed with four remote sensor camera, I came really close to capturing a tiger on camera.  But, as the saying goes, no cigar.  Two leopards, however, were photographed in great detail.

Follow me in September as I make may way back into the Himalayas in search of the tiger.  And tell a friend!