The magnificent snow leopards in the photos below were trapped using special foot snares that have been modified to decrease the possibility of injury to the animal. The leopards are anesthetized before being handled and fitted with a special collar which track their movements via satellite for a period of 13 months. After this period the collars automatically drop off, and the project team collects them using a special tracking device. The collars are then sent to the manufacturer for further data collection, and refurbished for future use.
In May 2012, the first male snow leopard was captured and named "Palawan" (Wrestler). A few days later, another male was captured and given the name "Khani Wakhani" (Leader of Wakhan). In September that same year, the project team successfully captured a female snow leopard and named her "Malika" (Queen). The collars on all three snow leopards dropped off as programmed, and the data collected on the hard drives is currently being analyzed.
During the project's second season, another female snow leopard "Pari" (Fairy) was captured in October 2013. Khani Wakhani much to the team's surprise was also captured for a second time. The team is very excited about this event as he will provide a total of 26 months of data. Prior to being collared, the animals were clinically examined and all were found to be in excellent health.
The data collected from these four animals have considerably increased our understanding on how snow leopards manage to survive in their extreme environment.