Rare Snow Leopard Footage from Mongolia

 

Rare footage of wild snow leopards taken in the Tost mountain range in Mongolia’s South Gobi province shows a vibrant population of these endangered cats – including a mother with three cubs.  Click the image or read the whole post for video footage.

 

 

Post submitted by Matthias Fiechter.

The Tost mountains are home to more than a dozen snow leopards. These cats are part of what may be the most studied snow leopard population in the world. The area has been the focal point of the Snow Leopard Trust’s pioneering long-term ecological study since 2008.

There may be as few as 5000 snow leopards left in world. Photo courtesy SLCF/SLT

 

Thanks to research tools such as GPS collars and remote-sensor research cameras, Trust scientists have been able to observe Tost’s snow leopard population in unprecedented ways. They’ve found wild cubs in their dens. They’ve tracked and photographed cats as they migrated to neighboring mountain ranges across the steppe, and they’ve revealed fascinating population dynamics.

 

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Two young cubs, most likely born in the spring of 2014. Photo courtesy SLCF / SLT

 

This research has helped convince Mongolian authorities to grant parts of Tost “Local Protected Area” status– a first step to saving this important snow leopard habitat for future generations.

 

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Mongolia’s Tost Mountains are home to at least a dozen snow leopards. Photo courtesy SLCF / SLT

 

Despite these efforts, led by the local community and our Mongolia team, Tost remains under threat: Various mining licenses had already been issued for the area before it was granted a minimum level of protection – and some of those have yet to expire.

This new snow leopard footage, taken in 2014, is further proof of the urgent need for better protection for Tost!

 

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Devekh, a male cat the Snow Leopard Trust has been tracking with a GPS collar. Photo courtesy SLCF / SLT

 

Wildlife

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While his own research focuses on learning about and protecting the fossa, Madagascar's elusive top predator, Luke Dollar has also devoted himself to promoting smart and effective conservation throughout the world. As a part of this larger dedication, he also heads up National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative. Learn More About Luke Dollar and His Work