More good news for the snow leopard (Panthera uncia) as data arrives from two adult males that were successfully captured, collared and released in late May and early June this year in Afghanistan. The first snow leopard to be captured, named Pahlawan, has been found to have travelled over 125 kilometres so far, while the second, named Khani Wakhai, despite being captured more recently, has travelled more than 153 kilometres. The story has been filmed by Nat Geo Wild and will be shown in a documentary, Snow Leopards of Afghanistan in December this year during Big Cat Week. The ability to track the movements of adult snow leopards will be a massive aid in learning more about their behaviour, habitat and range, and when combined with current studies of the early life of snow leopard cubs will greatly expand our knowledge of this iconic endangered species. Snow leopards have now been recognised as endangered by the IUCN for 30 years, and with today’s populations estimated between just 3000 and 7500 individuals, studies like these will be essential if we are to save this majestic big cat. To support the conservation of snow leopards as well as many other endangered species and their habitats, please consider donating to the Wildlife Conservation Society, who collaborated with Afghan veterinarians to complete this research.
Ref: Stephen Sautner (2012). First snow leopards collared in Afghanistan. EurekAlert! Zoology News [link]
The discovery of the dens of two snow leopard (Panthera uncia) mothers with young cubs in Mongolia’s Tost Mountains by conservation organisations Panthera and the Snow Leopard Trust will help to provide much-needed insights into the early life of this elusive endangered species. Read the full story here!