Jebel Milhan Leopard Survey

Jebel Milhan Leopard Survey

Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena sultana) Photo by Hans-Joachim Schmidt and Nasser Qassim

Background: Hans-Joachim Schmidt is a German living in Hamburg who has become captivated by Yemen’s many charms. Having discovered the beauty of Jebel Milhan on one of his early visits to the country, Hans decided to try and develop a small project to help the people in the village of Aswot. During one visit Hans decided to camp in Wadi Yuur, but some of his Milhani friends warned him, “Beware of the Nimr!”  When he understood that they meant he should be careful because there were leopards in Wadi Yuur, Hans decided to try and capture one on film. On his next visit he trained his friend Nasser Qassim in the use of a Trailmaster camera system.  Unfortunately, one of Nasser’s neighbors stole the camera in the spring of 2007 so the survey had to be suspended.  When the Foundation learned of this situation in late 2008, we began communicating with Hans who was hopeful that he could resume the survey.  We obtained a ministerial letter permitting Nasser to use a second Trailmaster system purchased by Hans, and delivered it to Nasser in December 2009 (see Milhan Rapid Assessment Survey).  Nasser discussed this with members of his community and was advised to take the letter to the Governor of Mahwit and the head of the Political Security office for further endorsement.  Hans has since purchased Bolygard and Cuddeback trail cameras for Nasser to use which he continues to do.  The Mahwit Leopard Survey is fully funded by Mr. Schmidt although the Foundation provides in-kind logistical support.

Date(s): Autumn 2006 – present (ongoing)

Budget: > €1,000 (does not included Hans’s travel expenses)

Sponsor:  Fully funded by Hans=Joachim Schmidt with in-kind contributions from the Foundation.

Who is involved?:

  • Hans Joachim Schmidt – Private German citizen with a passion for Yemen, Jebel Milhan, and Arabian leopards
  • Nasser Ahmed Qassim (aka Nasser Aswot) – Jebel Milhan resident trained in the use of Trailmaster trail camera system by Hans
  • David Stanton - Executive Director of the Foundation for the Protection of the Arabian Leopard in Yemen

How was the money spent?:

  • Equipment
  • Incentives for Nasser


  • Images of Striped Hyena, Small-spotted Genet, Arabian Caracal, Hamadryas Baboons
  • Videos of Arabian Red Fox, White-tailed Mongoose, Hamadryas Baboons
  • It is mainly because of the work that Hans and Nasser continue to do on Jebel Milhan that the area was declared as a Protected Area by Ministerial Decree on November 24, 2010


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Tel: +967 733 916 928
Fax: +967 1 370 193
P.O. Box 7069
Republic of Yemen