For the first time ever, TWO female snow leopards were radio collared in Bhutan’s Jigme Dorji National Park in September 2016.
The two female snow leopards, an adult and a sub-adult, weighing 57kg and 37kg were captured in Shasila (above 4,ooo masl), and fitted with radio collars and released back into the wild.
As the country’s first snow leopard radio collaring expedition, a 12-member team led by the Jigme Dorji National Park began field work in May 2016. After months of tracking a snow leopard in the mountains, the team successfully collared two snow leopards at two different sites.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Bhutan and Finland provided financial support to carry out the collaring in order to gain a better understanding of the endangered big cats. The radio collars would enable tracking of the snow leopards' movements through global positioning system (GPS) technology.
Information and data collected from the collared snow leopards would further enable conservationists to study their behaviour and ecology, their movement and breeding patterns. This expedition has also demonstrated successful collaboration with the local communities who played a vital role in identifying the hotspot for collaring purposes.
“The snow leopard collaring is timely and useful for further analysis of the behaviour of the animal and its response to the changing environment such as climate change and its impact, said Conservation Director of WWF Bhutan, Vijay Moktan. He said that this successful collaring will enable better informed and effective conservation interventions to save this endangered species.