Community Education and Field Research for the Pallas' Cat Conservation Project
In July 2006, Melanie Sorenson, Minnesota Zoo Interpretive Naturalist, spent eight weeks working with the Pallas Cat Conservation Project in Mongolia. She split her time between working in the field helping radio-track Pallas cat’s and teaching English to local herdsman and living in the capital city Ulaanbaatar developing curriculum for the project to be used with the local people regarding the need to protect and conserve the local natural resources and in particular the Pallas cat.
Much of her time was spent living in a ger (local nomadic shelter) in the remote steppes of Mongolia helping out the field team with their daily tracking tasks. The rest of her time in the field was spent teaching English to the researcher’s children and to the local nomadic herder families in the study area. She was able to include some basic information on conservation in these conversations as well.
The Minnesota Zoo’s Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Fund provided Melanie with $500 to cover her conservation contribution to the project. This money was spent to provide much needed supplies for the field camp and researchers.