James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Expedition Update: Alive and Well

When we planned this expedition, we had an ambitious (and in all honesty, unrealistic) objective. To find the Arabian Leopard, one of the rarest cats in the world.  A species numbering perhaps less than 250 individuals scattered across Arabia, and a species that in the 21st century should not be allowed to slip into extinction.

With expectations kept in check, immediately on arrival the odds seemed to be in our favour and excitement soared. Tell-tale prints in the sand, signature scrapes on trails, could it really be leopard?

The more we explored the Wadi, the more signs we found, but confirmation eluded us. We needed concrete evidence, photographic proof before we could whisper to the world that we had Leopard.

Now I can report back, that a few days ago, one of our camera traps recorded a 10 second clip of a Leopard sauntering up a rocky trail in the dead of night. The Arabian Leopard is alive and well, and I hope that the data we will accumulate, will help with the ongoing efforts to conserve this unique and iconic species.

Pictures to follow soon!

James Borrell

Chief Scientist

This article was originally published over on the BSES blog. If you would like to support conservation in Oman then there are lots of ways you can help. If you found this story interesting, then why not tell a friend and help make more people aware. Better yet, we’re returning to Oman next January and you or someone you know could get involved – find out more here.