One Snow Leopard Needs a Protected Range Bigger Than Aruba
The big cats' home territories are up to 44 times bigger than previously thought, a new study using GPS collars reveals.
The snow leopard is known as the “ghost of the mountain” for good reason. The big cats are secretive, few in number, and native to craggy, high-altitude habitats of Central Asia that can be treacherous for humans.
Now, technology advances have finally given scientists a solid glimpse into the world of these endangered felines, and led to one of the most robust studies ever conducted.
From 2008 to 2014, researchers working in the Tost Mountains of South Gobi, Mongolia, outfitted 16 snow leopards with GPS collars. The collars logged each cat’s location about four times a day for over a year. (Read about snow leopards in National Geographic magazine.)
The data suggest that the big cats require enormous home