YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE You are UNIQUE! This means YOU have special gifts to help
change the world. Talk to your parents about ways in which
you can recycle or conserve at home. Ask the wonderful
folk at zoos and conservations close to you how you can get
involved in all kinds of fun and educational activities. Get
your friends and neighbours involved. Look up websites for
zoos and wildlife conservations, and check out what’s going
on around the world!
Kinnaird Wildlife Conservation Centre (KWCC), situated in the Cairngorms mountain
range in Scotland, is managed by Dan MacDonald who married Jay, Umedh’s youngest
aunt. KWCC have their biggest success in captive breeding with the Panthera Uncia,
commonly known as snow leopards, and these beautiful creatures are currently on the
endangered species list. When a second litter of cubs is born, KWCC staff celebrated
this success with their community in the form of a huge event, and everyone is thrilled to
visit the new cubs. But, the day after the function, it is discovered that the three older
cubs, and their parents, are missing, and some days later, petty crooks are discovered
leaving the country with pelts of snow leopards in their suitcases. Who is the head of this
horrible gang and how did they infiltrate KWCC?
The JEACs, Rohan, Umedh, Amy, Nimal, Anu, Gina, and Mich, arriving three weeks after
this contemptible incident, to spend their Christmas holidays at KWCC, are appalled at
the news and determined to catch the felons. They meet Brian, a Scottish lad who lives
on KWCC, and he immediately joins the JEACs. Brian’s father, Luag, is head of the
breeding programme. Angry and upset at the loss of his beloved snow leopards, Brian
updates the JEACs further on what he and his best friends, Cormag and Eadan, have
The JEACs, after listening to Brian, unanimously conclude that the snow leopards are not
out of danger yet. They are worried that there may be further nasty incidents at the large
winter fundraiser which is to take place in four days. Hundreds of people will be arriving
via helicopter, since KWCC is only accessible by air. The JEACs, therefore, put into
place a number of plans in order to keep an eye on the snow leopards, and also strive to
discover the plot which they are convinced is brewing. Beiste and Clyde, two of the staff
members, appear to be misfits at KWCC for numerous reasons, including the unfriendly
behaviour of the two dogs, Hunter and Tumbler, towards them. Nobody appears to like
the two men.
The JEACs have a wonderful time: playing with the snow leopard cubs, zooming around
on ski-doos, living in a castle, enjoying the skills of the ingenious Mr. Q, welcoming
Cormag and Eadan into their group, singing, participating in winter sports, and the sheer
excitement of finding a secret passage. In the midst of these activities, the JEACs are
constantly on the alert, attempting to fit the various incidents, occurring on an almost
daily basis, into the puzzle they are building as to what might happen to the snow
leopards. They must protect the animals at all costs.
Read the book and join them in their fourth adventure. Also, please read the
FOREWORD to the book, by DR. DOUG WHITESIDE, Senior Staff Veterinarian at the
Calgary Zoo and a highly renowned veterinarian in North America – it’s super! Finally,
don’t forget to use your talents and make our world a better place by protecting our
animals and planet!
Join the JEACs – the Patels: Rohan, Nimal, Anu, Gina and, of course, their dog
Hunter; the Larkins: Amy and Mich; Umedh Ghosh, Rohan’s best friend; and
three Scottish boys: Brian Abercrombie who lives on the Kinnaird Wildlife
Conservation Centre in Scotland, and his friends, Cormag and Eadan.
J – Junior
E – Environmentalists
A – And
C – Conservationists
in their fourth exciting adventure!
"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand.
We will understand only what we are taught." ~Baba Dioum
Known as the "ghost cats of the Himalayas", snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are
among the most beautiful of the big cats with their characteristic thick grey spotted
fur and long bushy tails. While
snow leopards can growl, chuff, hiss, mew and wail, unlike other relatives such as
lions and tigers, they cannot roar. Their range in the high mountains of central Asia
extends across twelve countries,
covering approximately 2 million square kilometres. Unfortunately it is estimated that
as few as 3,500 of these magnificent cats remain in the wild. Fragmentation and loss
of their habitat, illegal poaching
for their hides or bones, a reduction in their natural prey due to illegal hunting, and
killing in retribution for when they prey on domestic livestock, have led to the snow
leopard being placed on the endangered species list by the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature.
Approximately 1 in 7 species on earth that are threatened with extinction are now
protected in zoos and aquariums. In some cases the genetic diversity that exists
within these conservation institutions is greater than that which exists in the wild. But
protecting them in a captive environment is not enough. Accredited zoos such as the
Calgary Zoo extend that protection to the natural homes of these species by
contributing to in-situ conservation programs. Canadian accredited zoos participate in
approximately 800 conservation science programs locally, nationally, and globally.
And their contribution to endangered species breeding and reintroduction programs is
significant; black-footed ferrets, swift fox, Vancouver Island marmots, whooping
cranes, Puerto Rican crested toads, eastern loggerhead shrikes, and Przewalski's
horses have been born in Canadian zoos and released into the wild.
Accredited zoos also play an important role in connecting the public with nature and
educating about the importance of global biodiversity, conservation, and
environmental sustainability. Through exploration of such issues, people re-examine
their lifestyle choices and consumption habits and the impact that these choices and
habits may have on their environment. This often inspires them to make better
choices in their day-to-day lives.
The survival of snow leopards is dependent on partnerships between conservation
organizations such as International Snow Leopard Trust, the Snow Leopard
Conservancy, and Panthera, as well as other captive conservation institutions such
as accredited zoological facilities. There are approximately 650 snow leopards in
accredited zoological institutions around the world. This partnership extends far
beyond just maintaining a genetic refuge for the species in zoos; it also serves to
partner with local people to protect habitat, protect against poaching, and support
researchers who study the species in the wild. In addition, this partnership allows for
bridging of knowledge gaps between wild and captive populations of snow leopards.
In her book Can Snow Leopards Roar? Amelia Lionheart introduces her readers to
the issues that imperil these magnificent cats. Amelia is passionate about the
conservation of wildlife and wild spaces. Even more so, through the creation of the
Junior Environmentalists and Conservationists (JEACs), she is impassioned to
educate and engage today's youth to develop a better tomorrow for species
threatened with extinction. The JEACs continue to expand globally and are a great
example of how we as a species will embrace change that we help to create.
Dr. Doug Whiteside
Senior Staff Veterinarian, Calgary Zoo
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Calgary Faculty of