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Monday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Tuesday 11:00
Nature offers a window on global natural history, providing a unique insight into the natural world, the environment, and the magnificent creatures that inhabit it.

If you like natural history and you're interested in the environment, why not visit Radio 4's first ever interactive blog here.

You can read, watch and listen as Natural History Radio make a new landmark series called Planet Earth Under Threat.

And being a blog, you can of course contribute to it...
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 22 May
Tessa McGregor
Tessa McGregor in Oman
Monday 22 May 2006
An arabian leopard in Oman. (c) Tessa McGregor
An arabian leopard in Oman.
(c) Tessa McGregor.

Arabian Leopards

Tessa McGregor, a journalist who specialises in the environment and particularly in big cats, has compiled for Nature, a fascinating audio-diary of her recent trip to Musandam in south Oman to search for signs of the Arabian Leopard.

The Arabian Leopard is one of the most endangered big cats in the world. Probably only 200 of these beautiful animals, which are subspecies of the African Leopard, survive in the arid mountains of southern Oman and Yemen.

Although the leopard is protected by law in Oman, most of its habitat is not and animals are threatened by lack of their wild prey species, such as Arabian gazelle and the tahr, a species of wild goat. The few remaining leopards are often driven to take domestic goats which bring them directly into conflict with local people, for whom goats are vital.

On her journey, the first of its kind in this remote and mountainous area, she meets the people who are campaigning to save the leopard, and the Omani's for whom this big cat is both a pest which eats their goats and a source of inspiration.

Travelling through gruelling heat, over rocky terrain, enduring sandstorms and vertiginous ridges, she and her team eventually locate the evidence for which they have been searching.

This programme is an insight not only into the life of one of the world's least-known animals, but also an exploration of a corner of the world which is alien to many of us.

The expedition Tessa joined was organised by Biosphere-expeditions, a non-profit organisation which promotes sustainable conservation of the planet's wildlife through providing real hands-on wildlife research and conservation expeditions.
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