Second Snow Leopard Collared in Mongolia Project

We are pleased to report that early in the morning on 14 September 2008, a second male snow leopard was captured and radio-collared in Mongolia’s South Gobi Province as part of a new long-term ecological study of the rare and endangered cats. The research team named the cat “Bayartai”, meaning “go with joy” in Mongolian, an appropriate sentiment since two of the researchers involved were leaving the study area that day after about 6 weeks of trapping effort.  An automated trap camera at the site recorded the cat entering the snare just 15 minutes before the research team’s regular morning trap check. The 44 kg (97 pound) cat was immobilized for approximately one hour before slipping back up the hillside away from the trap site.

The snow leopard becomes the second subject of a collaborative study being undertaken by the Snow Leopard Trust (SLT), Panthera, Felidae Conservation Fund (FCF), the Mongolian Ministry of Nature and Environment (MNE), and the Biological Institute of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences (MAS). The study was launched in May of this year with the establishment of a research center in the Tost Mountains, which are part of the Altai range. The study site, on the edge of the Gobi Desert, supports one of the richest populations of snow leopards in Mongolia, a country which itself boasts the second highest
number of the rare cats anywhere in their vast Asian range.

On another positive note, the GPS collar on the first young adult male snow leopard captured on 19 August 2008 (named “Aztai”) is performing very well: nearly 75% of scheduled GPS locations are successfully uploading via satellite phone to SLT headquarters in Seattle. This recently allowed researchers to track Aztai to a large ibex kill, something they could not do without close to real-time information on cat movements.

For more information on the study, visit the websites of the cooperating organizations:
Snow Leopard Trust:
Felidae Conservation Fund:


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