The snow leopard is one of the most elusive cats in the world, but camera traps recently managed to capture them on film in the mountains near the India-Pakistan border. The Indian branch of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) set up infrared cameras throughout the remote regions of the Kargil mountains just outside the Kashmir territory, according to The Associated Press. While this area has long been a hot spot for international conflict, it has been home to snow leopards for far longer.
Snow leopards live in the rocky high-altitude terrains throughout the mountain chain from Afghanistan to Mongolia. These endangered creatures have long, thick tails to help them keep their balance on the steep slopes while they hunt their prey. Aishwarya Maheshwari, a WWF researcher, set off on an India expedition in 2007 to document high-altitude wildlife in the Himilayas, and his most recent project was to study the snow leopard. He set up a number of cameras throughout their habitat in mid-2011, which initially only turned out photos of other regional predators, such as the Tibetan wolf and the red fox.
Recently, the cameras began transmitting pictures of two snow leopards, which the AP reports is a good sign that the population may be doing better than previously thought. Nature travel enthusiasts may not be able to spot these shy cats when they visit India, but they can learn more about these predators and the region's other endemic wildlife.
Read original article, Camera traps document elusive snow leopard in India’s Kargil.
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