M9 Is All Grown Up

We are excited to report that M9 dispersed from his mother Khashaa in mid-April!

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!

On April 24th Orjan collared an adult female snow leopard, the 17th snow leopard we’ve met through this study. She weighs 35.7 kg and is estimated to be approximately 7-8 years old. Orjan is confident that that this snow leopard is Agnes, a cat we first met via research camera in summer 2009. She will be called F7 until we are able to confirm her true identity.

Another female, F8, was collared on May 2nd at approximately 3:55am. By her weight of 34 kg, she appears to be about 3 years old. Four research cameras were deployed in the area after her collaring, and hopefully we will get pictures of her and F7 soon.

Aztai was seen close to M9 in late March, and soon after came within .3km of Khashaa. Khashaa circled the central area of her home range a few times in April, and came close to meeting up with Lasya, who often visited the western and northern parts of Khashaa’s range throughout the month.

During this time, Anu traveled throughout the eastern part of her home range, while Ariun (Catalina) spent four days around our base camp before exploring Khavar’s and Anu’s home ranges.

Spring is in full bloom in the South Gobi, and we look forward to bringing you more updates, and hopefully more pictures, of our collared cats soon!

Photo courtesy of Snow Leopard Trust/ Panthera


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