Vanishing Tracks: Four Years Among the Snow Leopards of Nepal

Darla Hillard, Author Arbor House $0 (332p) ISBN 978-0-87795-972-4
Few Westerners have visited the Langu Gorge in northwestern Nepal. Accessible only by foot, it is high, inhospitable terrain broken by cliffs, ridges and gullies, and 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. The expedition also included a Nepalese biologist who would study the goat-like bharal, major prey of the leopards, and five Sherpas; local villagers would provide porterage. 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. There is a sympathetic portrait of the villagers and their isolation. 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. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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