About Jonny Hanson

I'm a Northern Irish conservationist, farmer, entrepreneur & communicator.

Jonny’s penultimate PhD paper published

Jonny and research assistant Rinzin P Lama interviewing a Buddhist monk at Thame monastery, Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal, February 2014

Jonny’s penultimate PhD paper on human-snow leopard coexistence in Nepal’s Everest & Annapurna regions has just been published open access in Springer Nature’s Environmental Management journal. Click here to read or download the article.

Recent media appearances summary

Jonny with colleagues (from left) Aruna Bahia of the Co-op Foundation, Tiziana O’Hara of Co-operative Alternatives and Julie Hoey of Azor Community Farm.

Jonny’s involvement in the Cultivating Community Farming project – aimed at increasing the capacity of 10 early-stage community farming projects across Northern Ireland – was featured in this Farming Life article and on BBC Radio Ulster’s flagship daily new programme, Good Morning Ulster (from 22:43 here). Inspired by a workshop on food and farming hosted by Jonny at the NI Science Festival Sustainability Fair, journalist and commentator Rosalind Skillen featured Jonny in this piece on the importance of vision and imagination for effecting change.

Big Cats: The (Natural) History Of A Fascination

Big cats are one of planet earth’s most iconic animal families.

The pinnacle of natural selection, they occupy a unique place in human culture and imagination. Despite this, big cats are under threat like never before, as they struggle to adapt to the Anthropocene. Join big cat conservationist Dr Jonny Hanson for an interactive exploration of this story, including the science of big cats, their conservation and our fascination with them.

Told through the medium of Jonny’s own fascination – from tracking leopards in Africa as a teenager and working with most big cat species in captivity, through to work on snow leopard conservation and rewilding Ireland – this live show will leave you even more fascinated by big cats.

Book your tickets here.

Your Place and Mine Halloween interview

Without nature there is no human nature – Jonny was talking pigs & pumpkins with Glynn Primary School pumpkin art and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust’s social farming referrals.

Plus wildlife and wellbeing with Jubilee’s new National Lottery Heritage Fund Northern Ireland-funded conservation project, all on BBC Radio Ulster’s Your Place and Mine from 49.30 this morning here.

Mountain Ghost: The Science of Snow Leopards

Today, International Snow Leopard Day 2021, join conservationist Dr Jonny Hanson for an interactive and engaging exploration of the science of snow leopards. From natural selection and camera trapping to social surveys and ecosystem services, learn about the natural history of and threats to this elusive big cat, its coexistence with local communities, and the significance of its mountain home for the world and all its inhabitants. Drawing on Jonny’s experience of working with snow leopards in captivity, his research on snow leopard conservation in the field, and his ongoing involvement in snow leopard conservation, this talk blends science and adventure, humour and wonder, in this inspiring profile of the Mountain Ghost.

Dr Jonny Hanson YouTube channel launched

This is the trailer for my new YouTube channel, where you can watch all of my videos.

Thanks to the Northern Ireland Science Festival, Jubilee Community Benefit Society, the Snow Leopard Conservancy and everyone else who has played a part.

Mountains of the mind

It’s not the imposing spires of the Himalayas that are the world’s most challenging peaks; it’s the mountains of the mind. These mental massifs also dictate the success or failure of snow leopard conservation, and of nature conservation in general. Some parting thoughts from the series in Snow Leopard Fieldwork Diaries 19.

Snow Leopard Research Nepal

Two months on from finishing fieldwork, the snow leopard conservation journey continues.

The Himalayas may be thousands of miles from where I sit writing this, but their epic proportions feel much closer to home. That’s because the mountains that I’ve been working amongst over the last two months are not physical entities but mountains of data. With over 700 household questionnaires and 70 interviews collected there’s a lot of information to be sifted through and checked. I’ve just spent three weeks, for example, going through around 15,000 responses to open questions – were the respondent can say whatever they want rather than picking predetermined answers – and putting them in relevant categories. Only now am I ready to start analysing this data with statistics.

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The voices of those who matter II

Conservation = nature + human nature. But it’s the human nature bit that’s the tricky part, especially where large carnivores are concerned. Snow Leopard Fieldwork Diaries explores the nuances of these relationships in Nepal’s Annapurna Conservation Area.

Snow Leopard Research Nepal

How people in Annapurna Conservation Area think about and feel towards the snow leopard.

In the ‘voices of those who matter‘ we looked at how people in Sagarmatha National Park (SNP) felt about the snow leopard.  In this blog we do the same with the 500-plus people we’ve talked to in our other study site: Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA)  After all, these are the people who live alongside the snow leopard day-in, day-out.  Their views of of the species are often shaped by practical experiences of losing livestock or via their religion, rather than through the comfortable lens of zoological collections or wildlife documentaries.  But like people everywhere, their opinions are diverse, multifaceted and important.

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