My focus is on the conservation of the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) in Southeast Asia. The Indochinese leopard is a genetically distinct subspecies that was native throughout Southeast Asia, but has experienced a recent range collapse and is now Endangered. They remain only in two major strongholds which are considered priority sites: Peninsular Malaysia, and the Northern Tenasserim Forest Complex on the Myanmar-Thailand border. A small isolated population in eastern Cambodia also is a priority site due to high conservation value. Reasons for their decline are primarily due to poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, especially because leopard parts are used in traditional Asian medicine. Other reasons for their decline include prey declines, habitat destruction, and possibly disease. The Indochinese leopard is unique in that most individuals are black, or melanistic – except the population in eastern Cambodia, which contains only spotted individuals.
Since November 2015 I have been working for Panthera to coordinate their leopard program in Southeast Asia. My goal is to establish long-term monitoring sites for leopards within the remaining parts of their range. I also will work with governments and local NGOs to help increase enforcement in protected areas where leopards still occur. I am currently conducting camera-trap surveys to determine the density of leopards in eastern Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and potentially Myanmar. I hope to expand the program to include the monitoring of the Javan leopard (Panthera pardus melas), a Critically Endangered subspecies, on Java island, Indonesia.
My previous research focused on dholes (Cuon alpinus), and Endangered Species, in Cambodia, Laos, and Bhutan. Before that I studied several other carnivore species, mostly canids, in South Africa, Poland, Texas, and Kansas (see Research tab for summaries).
I am still affiliated with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), University of Oxford, where I have been conducting research since 2004. I am a member of the IUCN Canid Specialist Group, along with the IUCN Dhole Working Group. I also am a member of the Society for Conservation Biology, American Society of Mammalogists, and The Wildlife Society.