Snow leopard Sky
Snow leopards have been fitted with tracking collars enabling to learn about their movement
It is indeed a not easy task to catch elusive snow leopards leading secretive lives for the purpose of fitting them with tracking collars. However, the task has been fulfilled by the WWF-Mongolia thus contributing greatly to the study of the species. The research expedition that has worked for the duration of 14 days, covering period from 27 April till the end of 12 May, 2013 included biologists, assistant doctor to put to sleep and rehabilitate the animal, an experienced local hunter and specialists from the WWF-Mongolia. The aim was to catch two snow leopards from the Jargaltkhairkhan mountain of Khar-Us Lake NP and put satellite collars around their neck. The team members were confident that they would accomplish their task successfully given their unsuccessful efforts to do so few months earlier by catching the animal using traps. However, this time they put better traps totally at 11 different spots and double monitored them by installing automatic cameras. As O.Munkhtogtokh, head of the research team said, totally 6 snow leopards have arrived at the trap sites and one of them was caught in the trap. Initially, calming injection then sleeping injection were shot by the special gun. After putting to sleep, the measurements of the female leopard, aged 4-5 were taken revealing its weight being at 39.5kg and being pregnant. This snow leopard was then given name of Tenger, which means “the Sky”, the name given by Ms.Yo.Onon, the former WWF staff who initiated this work couple of years ago. After 2 hours 17 minutes from sleeping injection the animal started to crawl and soon left the site. This was, in fact, the first ever fitting of satellite collar on the snow leopard in the Altai- Sayan ecoregion, Mongolian part. Biologists believe that by fitting satellite collar on elusive snow leopard will enable researchers to identify the overall distance and time laps covered by the animal to inform further the snow leopard protection work more accurately to achieve better conservation results.