Breaking news from our base camp in South Gobi! Field scientist Örjan Johansson called in earlier this week to report that he had successfully fitted a new GPS collar on Devekh, a large male snow leopard we had previously been following for a few months back in 2010, before his original collar dropped off.
Devekh’s capture and collaring went smoothly, and the cat was safely released back into the wild with his new collar. When he was first captured and equipped with a collar in February 2010, Devekh had weighed just under 40 kg (around 88 lbs.) It looks like he has grown into quite an impressive cat since then, as Örjan, who is used to do some pretty heavy lifting, couldn’t even lift and weigh him on his own.
Devekh has been one of the more fascinating cats in our study. When he was first collared, he seemed to be in the process of dispersing; moving around a lot more than most cats we have followed. At the time his collar dropped off in the summer of 2010, he had yet to settle down and claim his home range. It will be fascinating to see in the coming months how his behavior has changed over these past years.