Snow Leopards Trust researchers are planning to track both wild snow leopards and ibex, their primary prey species, with GPS technology this spring.
Conservationists and rangers counted wild mountain ungulates in Sarychat-Ertash Nature Reserve and the adjacent Koiluu Hunting Concession, both in the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. They found exceptionally high numbers of ibex and argali in the reserve, while populations in the concession were significantly lower.
Scientists and rangers in Mongolia conduct a comprehensive survey of ibex and argali, the snow leopard’s preferred prey species, in the Tost and Noyon mountains. The populations currently look stable and sufficiently large to sustain the area’s snow leopards.
The Snow Leopard Trust, Snow Leopard Foundation Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz Department of Hunting and Natural Resource Management are piloting a new, innovative conservation program: they are turning a hunting concession, where ibex were commercially hunted, into a co-managed nature reserve.