Link: http://www.snowleopard.org/news/currentnews/collaringupdate

First Snow Leopard Collared in Chitral Gol

On 17 November, a female snow leopard was captured and collared in Chitral Gol National Park, in northern Pakistan. In the first of its kind study, the 35 kg (78 pound) leopard was fitted with a GPS-Satellite collar that will provide researchers with an unprecedented amount of precise data on snow leopard movements and habitat use. The collar contains a GPS which will calculate the cat’s exact position several times each day and then uplink the data via the Argos satellite system and back to the researchers by email.

Zara McDonald (Felidae Conservation Fund) and Bayad-e-Kohsaar.

The study, being carried out jointly by the International Snow Leopard Trust, the NWFP Wildlife Department, and WWF-Pakistan, seeks to collar up to 5 cats with the high-tech collars over the next several months.

The female snow leopard was captured high on Purdum Mali ridge (which means cave of the snow leopard in Chitrali). This is the same ridge where Dr. George Schaller took his first picture of a wild snow leopard some 3 decades ago. Tom McCarthy, Project Leader, said it was a fitting place for another first in the study and conservation of these magnificent yet secretive cats.

The morning after the capture, the signal from the leopard’s collar indicated she was moving and had traveled a substantial distance overnight. The collar was also successful in making several GPS locations during that period which showed the technology is working as planned.

The name selected for the snow leopard is Bayad-e-Kohsaar, which in Urdu means In Memory of Mountains, to honor the many conservationists who recently lost their lives in a tragic helicopter accident in Nepal.

Thomas M. McCarthy, Ph.D.
Science and Conservation Director
Snow Leopard Trust
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Suite 325
Seattle, WA 98103
http://www.snowleopard.org

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Pakistan Wildlife Conservation News brings you the latest wildlife news from Pakistan. The latest conservation issues relating to protected areas and the biodiversity of Pakistan.

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