The Cries of a Snow Leopard

Orjan is a Swedish PhD student who bought a one-way ticket to Mongolia to work at the base camp of our long-term research project.  These are his adventures…

We have a pretty good feeling for the new trap area now. Most likely we will build a trap line in a half-circle around the biggest mountain in the area. The snow leopard mating season starts in February and according to Tom, the mountains echo from cat’s screams. Now, I’m thinking like this, if I was on the prowl, looking for a suitable mate and the best way to locate it is to listen, then alternatively scream and hope they will here me, where would I go?


What will be waiting for me on the way up the highest place or coming down from it?


Ha, this snow leopard trapping is a piece of a cake. That is if the leopards actually step in the traps and the snares close in and…

At least we are scouting the area thoroughly, we are mapping all signs of snow leopards and checking for good trap sites, when we have the entire trap line figured out we will put out the trap cameras and after that it’s time to pack up and leave for UB [Ulaanbaatar]…

It is 800 km to UB and Nadia and I will drive it ourselves I think. I know what you are thinking; 800 km isn’t much to whine about. But it takes 24 hours if one drives non-stop. There are no roads, more dirt tracks and these can move in the same manner as the nomads. I think that we basically set out in the general direction of UB and hope to get there eventually… Well, that will be a new experience and I am excited to try it. I will leave for Sweden on the 17th of November (if we have reached UB by then…)

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