Snow Leopard Trust Updates
The photos and video from Anu and Lasya’s den sites are in! We have never before encountered wild snow leopard cubs, and we are thrilled to share our experience with you. You can check out our YouTube channel to see live footage of the den visits!
This long-term snow leopard study in Mongolia’s South Gobi is a joint project with Snow Leopard Trust, Snow Leopard Conservation Fund, and Panthera, and is in cooperation with the Mongolia Ministry of Nature, Environment and Tourism and the Mongolia Academy of Sciences.
The only other snow leopard we have known during dispersal was Zaraa, who left her mother Tenger in February of last year. A few weeks after M9 went off on his own, field researcher Orjan located his first big kill, a 5 year old female ibex. He ate for six days, and since that time has been seen on two additional kill sites. The young snow leopard is doing great! (more…)
Orjan Johansson is our snow leopard collaring expert currently living at the research base camp in the South Gobi of Mongolia. Life is harsh in mountain ranges where snow leopards are found, and Orjan shares his experience:
As we were eating breakfast a couple of days ago it struck me that there are no ‘littles’ here. There is never “a little wind” or “a little hot”. Two days before this realization, it was an exceptionally hot day with a blazing sun. I was wearing a light shirt and still sweated heavily. But the day after, it was so cold that I had to dig out the long-johns and woolen cap again. This morning the wind blew so hard that the ger itself moved, and motor-biking would involve a substantial risk if caught in a crosswind.
For the past 50 days, I have had company more or less 24/7. The visitors have been great, but it is a little tiring to constantly have people that are dependent on me in camp. But the alternative is to be alone here, which I have been for the last three days after the visitors departed. Alone in the Gobi means living without another human being in sight. So I’m not ‘a little alone’. I’m totally alone.
Since my brother installed the microprocessors, our trap surveillance system has worked perfect! That is, it worked perfect until a few hours after my assistant and Charu left camp, then it broke down… With excellent help from my brother I have isolated the problem, a small amplifier broke. It is a common part found in most stores that sell electronic supplies and it costs a couple of dollars. Unfortunately, there are simply no electronic stores here. So I must again get up every third hour and climb the mountain to manually listen to the trap transmitters. I would love to be just ‘a little tired’ and ‘a little luckier’.
On April 18th, our field researcher extraordinaire Orjan once again successfully captured a healthy snow leopard. We are excited to see where this cat’s home range is located and what size area he patrols.
The special opportunity of naming this cat – the 10th male to be part of the study – was auctioned off at our Fall Event. The winner is a board member of the Snow Leopard Trust, and he has chosen to name the cat in honor of his granddaughter Catalina, who was born late last year. The Greek origin of the name Catalina means “Pure” and this new snow leopard will be named after the Mongolian translation. We are proud to welcome “Ariun” into our study in honor of Catalina and her family.
Thanks to Orjan for his 36th safe capture of a snow leopard and to Catalina, who now has a beautiful namesake roaming the mountains of Mongolia.Photo of Ariun Courtesy of the Snow Leopard Trust/ Panthera
UPDATE: We need less than $360 to reach our New Donor Match goal of $13,000! If you make a first-time donation or adoption purchase before April 30th, you will help us meet our goal and every donation will be doubled!
Are you wondering how far will your support of snow leopard protection will go? When you support the Snow Leopard Trust, you are ensuring that snow leopards are protected in important areas of 5 countries where snow leopards live. Together, these five nations contain 75% of the world’s population of wild snow leopards. In each country, research, education and protection programs work in tandem to better protect these cats.
China: We are working with monks from the Gongsa Monastery, who are helping us with research and get our conservation message reach many people in the area.
India: 10 villages are participating in conservation programs—either through livestock insurance programs or by identifying grazing-free reserves. And education programs are helping change attitudes towards snow leopards.
Kyrgyzstan: Last year, staff found that 18 cats inhabit the study area in the Sarychat-Ertash Reserve, and that poaching by outside hunters is a growing threat. Now, the Snow Leopard Enterprises handicrafts program has re-initiated work with 3 communities, and reached out to 2 more.
Mongolia: The Snow Leopard Enterprises program is working with 260 households to make handicrafts. A pilot livestock insurance program, modeled after the program in India, has engaged 32 households to limit impacts from snow leopard’s taking wildlife.
Pakistan: The Snow Leopard Enterprises program and Livestock Vaccination programs continue to engage households in conservation. Last year, Researchers explored a new area for work, Gilgit-Baltisan, conducting surveys of over 9,000 households about threats to the cats.