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Are you concerned about collaring snow leopards?

The 15th snow leopard collared through the Panthera-SLT study in Mongolia. October 2012 Photo Panthera / SLT K. Suryawanshi.

One of the things snow leopard researchers get asked about all the time is the ethics of capturing and collaring snow leopards. Capture and collar is a research method used to study many animals in the wild but lay people often have doubts and questions about it.

Scientists would also prefer not to have to be this invasive in their study of wildlife but sometimes there are no alternatives to get information that will ultimately help towards saving an endangered species.

All reputable snow leopard research organisations like Snow Leopard Trust, Snow Leopard Conservancy and Panthera do rigorous testing of their capture and collaring methods to ensure each animal that is collared is treated safely.

Panthera recently put together this list of questions and answers on the effect of collaring on snow leopards.

They answer these questions.

What are the benefits of collaring wild snow leopards?

How do you know these collars even work? Do you test them before they go on wild snow leopards?

What happens when the snow leopards are collared?

Do the collars stay on for the cats’ whole lifetime?

How big is the GPS collar?

Do GPS collars compromise the snow leopard’s ability to hunt?

Do the GPS collars affect the cats’ ability to camouflage?

Do you use any other methods to gather data about these big cats?

Please read this list for the answer to these important questions.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • JonasM December 21, 2012, 8:37 pm

    An interesting and important question, As I can understand the collar gives very much important information about snowleopards and doesn’t have any obvious negative effects.

  • Amber May 10, 2013, 11:04 am

    Hi Sibylle! I am visiting Seattle today and tomorrow for a conference, and made a special trip to the Woodland Park Zoo to visit te snow leopards I’ve only been able to read about on their blog, and then hiked to the Snow Leopard Trust office to say hello introduce myself. I mentioned your blog, and you can imagine my surprise when they said you’d been there only hours before! Amazing! After following your blog for years, I would have been ecstatic to meet you in person. I hope your stay in Seattle has been as wonderful as mine has. :) In the mean time, you just keep on writing and I’ll be your loyal reader.

  • Sibylle May 20, 2013, 5:11 pm

    sorry I missed you in Seattle, such a shame, glad you support snow leopards, together we can make a difference and save these cats in the wild.Thanks for your support, Amber:)

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