A trap camera took this rare photo of a snow leopard.
By Wildlife Conservation Society
The Wildlife Conservation Society released two photos Thursday of a snow leopard, an endangered cat that lives in the high mountains of Central Asia.These photos were taken by a trap camera in Sast Valley in Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and sent to my colleague Dan Vergano,who wanted to share them with the pet community. Thank you, Dan. We’ll do more on wild cats and wolves in upcoming blogs.
WCS researchers are conducting ongoing wildlife surveys in this remote area with the goal of establishing a protected area. They found this endangered cat willing to strike a pose or two.
Trap cameras are placed in an animal’s habitat and are automatically triggered to go off when an animal goes by, allowing researchers to take photos without being nearby.
Snow leopards are on The World Conservation Union’s Red list of Endangered Species, the same endangered status given to the panda and tiger. Snow leopards are elusive creatures. Sightings are rare, partly because of how well they blend into the landscape. They weigh about 75-120 pounds (roughly seven to eight times the weight of a house cat and one-seventh to one-eighth the size of a tiger). They have large paws that allow them to jump up to 50 feet. More information about the cats and where they roam can be found at the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Snow Leopard Trust websites.
Peter Matthiessen writes about a magical journey he took on foot – what else? – in the rugged mountains of northwest Nepal with a wildlife biologist to look for these near-mythical creatures in The Snow Leopard.