Tracking the Mountain Ghost

For almost a decade, Swedish researcher Örjan Johansson has studied the elusive snow leopards of the Gobi Desert. His pioneering work includes equipping 23 individual snow leopards with GPS collars, and publishing groundbreaking papers on how these cats use their habitat or how frequently they kill prey. Last month, Örjan defended the PhD thesis he wrote on this research. In this article, he shares some thoughts about his unique work and what motivates him to do it.

Pioneering Research Leads to PhD

Örjan Johansson’s groundbreaking work on the snow leopard’s biology and behavior has led to novel insights into the spatial needs, predation patterns, and reproduction cycle of this elusive cat. Now, after 8 years of field work, collaring 23 individual snow leopards and spending more than 1,000 nights in the Gobi Desert, this pioneering scientist has received his PhD from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Back in the Shadows: Collared Snow Leopard Tsetsen Goes Offline

Tsetsen, a male snow leopard wearing a GSP collar in Mongolia’s Tost Mountains as part of the Snow Leopard Trust’s long-term study of these cats, has gone offline as scheduled. The batteries on Tsetsen’s collar appear to have run out. The collar itself will drop off the cat in the next weeks.

Anu’s Tale – From Little Cub to Proud Mother of Triplets

Using remote-sensor research cameras and GPS tracking collars, Snow Leopard Trust researchers have been able to follow and observe a young female snow leopard named Anu over the course of four years as she grew up, dispersed from her mother and later had cubs herself twice in her mountain habitat in Mongolia’s South Gobi. The latest photos show Anu followed by three small cubs. Her tale is a powerful sign of hope for the endangered cat species.