Breakthrough!

a snow leopard approaches her mate

 

Rodney Jackson and the staff of the Snow Leopard Conservancy assisted Mitchell Kelly in obtaining spetacular footage of wild snow leopards. The PBS series Nature broadcast Silent Roar: Searching for the Snow Leopard on January 16, 2005. You may purchase this video through the Nature website.

The footage was shot on a mini DV infrared-triggered video camera. For a “sneak preview” of this footage, including a sequence showing a very curious young snow leopard investigating the camera, simply follow the links below:

 

A Snow Leopard Conservancy exclusive – the first close-up video of wild snow leopards

 

Snow Leopard Conservancy Video of Wild Cats:
captured frame from adult snow leopard videoAn adult snow leopard, probably a male, walks up the ridge toward the hidden camera. Although snow leopards are an essentially solitary species, they communicate with each other by leaving a variety of sign – scrapes, scats and scent sprays – at strategic points along their travel lanes. (Real Movie – 957kb) captured frame from adult snow leopard videoWe believe this is a recently independent snow leopard “cub,” aged around 20-22 months, checking out a camera (and fogging the lens with its breath!) that was placed near a village trail. Note the other cat in the background, probably a sibling, sniffing at a scrape along the trail. (Real Movie – 4028kb) a pair of wild snow leopards preparing to mateIn the documentary, Silent Roar: Searching for the Snow Leopard, cameraman Mitchell Kelly caught for the first time ever on film, a pair of courting snow leopards.(Quicktime Movie – 474 Mb)
Snow Leopard Trekking Party Sights Wild Snow Leopard:
a snow leopard relaxing in postprandial comfort is annoyed by a magpieThe magnificent snow leopard was lying quietly above his kill, draped like a fur carpet over the rock. (Quicktime movie – 202 kb) trekkers amazed by their encounter with a snow leopardFabulous! Spotting that leopard at the end of our trip was priceless. (Quicktime movie – 500 kb) Rod Jackson talks about the snow leopardRod was thrilled that the group was able to have this unforgettable experience. (Quicktime movie – 850 kb)

Snow Leopard Treks

You can visit beautiful and remote Ladakh if you join the Snow Leopard Conservancy on one of our special Snow Leopard Treks.

 

Two of the video files are formatted as realmedia (.rm); the others are Quicktime (.mov). If you do not have these players installed on your computer, you may download them for free through the icons below.

graphic link to Realplayer download graphic link to Quicktime download

 

Fun, But is it Science?

Camera traps provide us with excellent opportunities for data collection. In addition to the videos, four still cameras were set up to monitor the snow leopard population. These cameras enable us to identify individuals. One cat visited the still cameras, and the videos had a total of seven visits (five snow leopards, one fox and one wild dog). The film shows snow leopards face-rubbing scent-spraying, and exhibiting a scent-triggered response known as flehmen (lip-curl with open mouth and bared canines). This is the first time any of these behaviors have been photographed in the wild. One male almost does a somersault in its eagerness to scent-spray!

Video cameras like these, along with less expensive remotely triggered 35mm still cameras, are proving to be a wonderful tool for long-term research. Using the photos to supplement other sources of information, we can determine the number of snow leopards in an area, their age, gender, their prey base, and with this information we can monitor this important population.

Help Us Save These Magnificent Animals

The Snow Leopard Conservancy is working closely with local communities to protect the endangered snow leopard and its prey. Elsewhere on our website you can read about how we employ economic incentives and environmental education in an effort to ensure that local people become effective guardians of their snow leopards, and can benefit from the presence of these magnificent cats. Your support to Snow Leopard Conservancy will help ensure that the snow leopards you see in the video can live their lives in full.

Thank-you!