Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Elusive Snow Leopard Caught On Camera

Wonderful Photos

A Solitary Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia):  "There are an estimated 4,000 to 6,500
snow leopards in the wild, and the species is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.That's why big cat conservationists are studying the leopards in an effort
to learn more about them and keep them from going extinct."
Photo Credit: Richard Bischof; Norwegian University of Life Sciences/
Snow Leopard Foundation Pakistan
Source: NatGeo

A pictorial essay, by Angie McPherson, in National Geographic says that researchers, working in northern Pakistan, have taken some photos of the elusive snow leopard (Panthera uncia):
Notoriously elusive snow leopards have been caught by a camera trap in northern Pakistan as part of a three-year study by scientists with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The main collaborator in the study is the Snow Leopard Foundation Pakistan.
With only half a year left to complete their study, the scientists published a report on their use of camera traps in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution. Snow leopards (Panthera uncia), which live in the snow-capped mountains of Central Asia, are known as "gray ghosts" or "ghost cats" because they frequently hide from people and other animals.
But researcher Richard Bischof is hoping to shed more light on the shy beast by leading a non-invasive study of snow leopards using scat analysis and photography. (See snow leopard pictures in National Geographic magazine.) "You can garner lots of information from these images, including insights into distribution and behavior, etc.," Bischof said.
Unique coat patterns of the spotted cats also allows the identification of individuals and aid estimation of population size. There are an estimated 4,000 to 6,500 snow leopards in the wild, and the species is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
That's why big cat conservationists are studying the leopards in an effort to learn more about them and keep them from going extinct. (Read about National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.)
There are not many snow leopards left in the world; thus, no one can or should argue about this excellent initiative.

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You can read more and see more photos at [NatGeo].

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