Did you know every snow leopard’s spots are unique? Just as well as this is one way scientists identify them.
The Snow Leopard Trust invites you to take part in its Mongolia research study by identifying individual snow leopards by their spots and the patterns on their fur. The Trust’s project, in partnership with Panthera gets thousands of photos each season from the many remote cameras they have set up in the field. These cameras are triggered to take photos when an animal passes and the photos are then used by the scientists to identify individual cats so they can count accurately the density of the animals in a particular area. This helps answer the big question of whether the habitat can support the number of cats found, as each animal needs territory and enough wild prey to survive.
This is a great idea and having had a go I’ve found it’s not that easy counting snow leopard spots! The Cat Cam webpage gives you instructions and suggestions. For example you can look for distinct clusters of spots on a small part of the body like the forehead or the tail.
Happy spotting at Cat Cam.