Follow The Cats
Less than a week ago, field scientist Örjan Johansson and his team managed to equip a new snow leopard with a GPS collar – the 20th cat we’ll be able to track in our long-term snow leopard study in Mongolia’s South Gobi. Since then, the team have struggled with snow, fog and solid ice, as Örjan reports from base camp.
Devekh, the snow leopard we’re tracking in Mongolia, is living large: over the last couple of weeks, he’s used an area of 400 km2!
We’ve been tracking snow leopards with GPS collars as part of our long-term study in Mongolia for 4 years.
Our collaring expert, Örjan Johansson, has managed to fit collars on a total of 19 cats throughout the years – from veteran study pioneer Aztai to “supermom” Khashaa and her cub, Aylagch.
Now, you can get to know all of these unique cats we’ve been following and learn about their stories and what they’ve taught us in our new section,
Örjan Johansson is a Ph.D. student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). He is the field scientist in our Long Term Ecological Study about snow leopards in South Gobi, Mongolia. Örjan’s groundbreaking research is generously supported by Nordens Ark Zoo in Bohuslän, Sweden, and by Kolmården Zoo, in Norrköping, Sweden.
This study is a joint project of the Snow Leopard Trust and Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation in cooperation with the Mongolia Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism, and the Mongolia Academy of Sciences.
Breaking news from our base camp in South Gobi! Field scientist Örjan Johansson called in earlier this week to report that he had successfully fitted a new GPS collar on Devekh, a large male snow leopard we had previously been following for a few months back in 2010, before his original collar dropped off. (more…)
Four years ago, we’ve set up camp in Mongolia’s South Gobi to start the world’s first comprehensive, long-term study of snow leopard’s ecology, habitat and behavior. As we look ahead to the next chapter in this groundbreaking research endeavor, we also want to share 7 amazing facts from the past 4 years with you.
1. Thanks to your support, we’ve collared and tracked a total of 19 snow leopards in the South Gobi in the last 4 years.
2. Our GPS collars recorded over 18,000 individual snow leopard locations, the most detailed snow leopard distribution data ever assembled.
3. From this data, our scientists have calculated that the most avid wanderer among “our” cats, Ariun, has a monthly home range of over 463 km2, which is more than 5 times the size of Manhattan…
4. Our study area sometimes resembles a nursery: In 2012: we’ve been able to confirm the existence of six new snow leopard cubs through a preliminary review of research camera data and from sightings!
5. We’ve documented weight, size and sex of three newborn cubs, another “first” in snow leopard science!
6. Thanks to the data from our study, local communities have managed to secure greater environmental protection for a 6,500 sq km region in the Tost mountains, 2/3 the size of Yellowstone National Park.
7. More than a dozen grad students from Mongolia and many other countries have advanced their academic careers while taking part in the long-term study.