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Steven paw
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What is your job?
WildAid, Director of Field Operations.

Where do you work?
Bangkok, Thailand.

Why do you care about helping clouded leopards?
I care about conserving all wild animals. And over the years I have noticed that poachers and traffickers who were killing and selling other rare cats, like tigers, have taken more interest in clouded leopards now that it's hard to find tigers in the wild. This is the normal trend in the illegal wildlife trade. When one species starts to run "low", the traffickers simply move onto the next. So the story of the clouded leopard is an important one. No cat or any wild animal is safe from the illegal trade without more protection and education.

How did you get your start?
I was an investigative researcher, working on the illegal trade in arms and drugs. I was asked to look into a similar black market business --the illegal wildlife trade. I got hooked.

What's the best part of your job?
Working with my very dedicated staff and with the agencies we train. Everyone seems quite passionate about protecting nature and wild animals, like it's their life's calling. We're all lucky to have a meaning to our life.

What suggestions could you give me for getting into your field?
Learn to write reports, grant proposals, and pick one skill in conservation and get really good at it. It could be fundraising, PR, or it could be project monitoring, management, wildlife monitoring, or community outreach. But make sure you can write and communicate well, and personal management skills are a must.

Do you think clouded leopards have a chance to survive in the wild?
Absolutely. We need to protect their habitat and make sure their homes are secured (with patrolling and strong community support). And we need to make sure that the trade in cat skins becomes a thing of the past, or at least much less trendy than it is now.

How can I help clouded leopards?
Help raise awareness of its plight, and help raise money for projects that are doing something to change the situation.