Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris

Ecotourism and Conservation in India

By traveling with Cheesemans’ to India to see snow leopards, you directly support the local community, as well as the people who work in ecotourism. Behzad Larry, president of the High Asia Habitat Fund and owner of our local operator, has long-lasting personal relationships with the owners of the camp you will stay at on our snow leopard itineraries. The camp, built by the local community is incredibly environmentally friendly and a model for sustainable conservation tourism. The camp employs locals as its staff and they are leaders in training others to become adept at snow leopard tracking which in turn contributes to their conservation.

India Ecotourism and Conservation © Behzad Larry

India Ecotourism and Conservation © Behzad Larry

The Snow leopard ecotourism industry on this trip gives local people sustainable job alternatives and helps local communities keep their livelihoods safe, all of which help further conservation. For example, the High Asia Habitat Fund works directly with the locals in the areas around camp to build economically feasible, humane, and long-lasting pens to both keep the local livestock safe from snow leopard attacks, as well as prevent the cats from being subject to shepherd retaliation for killing livestock. The construction of these pens offers work opportunities for local people and also helps to maintain a healthy relationship between the people and the cats. A portion of the trip cost is used toward building these predator-proof corrals in the community.

How Can You Make A Difference?

How You Can Actively Contribute

  • Keep an eBird list for each outing – you don’t need to track EVERY bird you see. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.
  • Take GPS-referenced wildlife and nature photos, and upload to iNaturalist. See our Reading and Resource List for more details.
  • Give a talk about your experience to a local wildlife or nature group or host a virtual webinar to reach a much wider audience!
  • Share your experiences on social media so others can learn more.
  • Submit a written, video, or audio testimonial for Cheesemans’ to share with future travelers.
  • Support local vendors if you buy memorabilia to take home.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle to refill rather than accepting plastic bottles. Paco carries water in the vehicle for you to refill while on the road in addition to the water the lodges provide for you.
  • Ask for the lodging to not replace your towels or bedding during multiple night stays.
  • Turn off lights and fans when leaving your room.
  • Bring biodegradable soap, to protect the world’s water and to save on waste from bottles hotels provide. Many hotels are switching to dispensers in the bathrooms.
  • We’d love to hear other ways you are actively participating, so please share that with us on our Brazil Facebook group.

Organizations You Can Support

  • High Asia Habitat Fund – This organization’s mission is to protect High Asia’s critical ecosystems through conserving wildlife, restoring wild habitat, and empowering dependent communities toward conservation.
  • Snow Leopard Trust – This organization aims to protect this endangered cat through community-based conservation projects that are based on an improved scientific understanding of snow leopard behavior, needs, habitats and threats.