SIGN TRANSECTS AND SLIMS

 

two men looking at scrape on ground

Community-based monitors in Mongolia examine snow leopard scrape (photo: Jan Janečka)

 

In this method, biologists count the sign left along the cat’s travel routes. Fortunately snow leopards tend to leave relatively abundant sign as they move about their home ranges. But you need to know where to look!

Advantages:

  • Non-invasive, rapid, and does not require special equipment
  • Relatively simple to apply following basic training
  • Widely used by field personnel
  • Results available immediately in the field
  • Best applied to occupancy modeling (see below)

Disadvantages:

  • Sign is destroyed by livestock, rain, or may be covered by snow
  • Difficulty in converting sign abundance to number of snow leopards (details in this pdf file )