A Snow Leopard Romance for Valentine's Day

valentinesWith Tsagaan fitted with an improved GPS tracking collar this past September, we have learned a remarkable amount of information on his recent whereabouts. His home range overlaps with that of Khashaa, Tenger and Zara (the three females in our research study) and his GPS locations show him visiting all of them more than once within a month’s time.

However, it was a very unique cluster of GPS locations from Tsagaan that caused our researchers to take to the Tost mountains in search of answers. It appeared that Khashaa and Tsagaan had remained only meters apart for an extended period of time! Once researchers Orjan and Elin saw the site, the surprising data points were confirmed.

Khashaa and Tsagaan had shared a meal of ibex at the highest point of the tallest mountain in their overlapping home ranges!

Could a romance be blooming between the two snow leopards? We are hopeful that Khashaa, who we once called “Supermom”, will become pregnant again while in the study. Such an event would provide us invaluable data on courtship and mating, and we look forward to bringing you more news on these two wild snow leopards soon.

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