The field season earlier this year was a huge success, with new areas surveyed in Gansu (as well as Xinjiang and Tibet). The sites in west Gansu were particularly busy with snow leopard sign and we were rewarded with a photo with no fewer than three apparently adult animals walking together (the third animal is just visible on the far left).
These are probably an adult female with her adolescent offspring, but this is an unusual shot. Shame the photo quality wasn't better, but oh well.
You might also enjoy the following video we shot on a remote camera in Taxkurgan in Xinjiang.
We were saddened to learn of the untimely death of Rinchen Wangchuk. Rinchen's contribution to furthering our knowledge about snow leopards is remarkable and a lasting legacy. Our sincerest sympathies are with his family.
Information about Rinchen and his work are on Sibylle Noras' blog.
Firstly thanks for Chen Ying for the previous stalling post. We have been variously camped out in sites in Xinjiang and Gansu, and are now proudly monitoring nine sites for snow leopard research and conservation across China (but more of that later).
I will start with the current news, rather than my usual, slightly ranty, stuff. Dr Shi Kun and I set up a team in Qilianshan Nature Reserve in Gansu, comprised of Beijing Forestry University students Ms Yuan Yi Fang and Mr Sun Qiao Qi, along with local Forestry Administration manager Mr Ma Yingjun and local community representative and guide extraordinaire, Mr Archun Qi. This area is of vital importance for snow leopard conservation and for understanding their ecology and dispersal. But more of that later - sorry I keep getting side-tracked...
Well, to the point. Here are the latest images from the camera traps:
I can't begin to explain how these make us feel, given the work involved and also because these represent vital information that will add to a growing database underpinning our research.
I'll end for the moment with one of Archun, Qiao Qi and I setting a camera in the field in Gansu.
More to come... and also from the teams in Xinjiang...
Much love (because I'm obviously in a good mood),
Phil and the team (Dr Shi Kun, Sun Qioa Qi and Yuan Yi Fang) are currently establishing field sites and surveying snow leopards and their prey in the Qilianshan Nature Reserve in Gansu.I'm sure he will provide more details and pictures when they return.
First up for the year, this caught my eye on the BBC News website:
Tajikistan cedes land to China
China and Tajikistan say that they have settled a century-old border dispute, after the Central Asian nation agreed to cede land to China. The Tajik parliament voted on Wednesday to ratify a 1999 deal handing over 386 square miles (1,000 sq km) of land in the remote Pamir mountain range.