Camera Trapping on Snow Leopards in the Muzat Valley, Tumor Feng Nature Reserve, China


For a seventy-one day period between October and December, 2005, a group of twelve specialists from the Xinjiang Snow Leopard Group, Xinjiang Conservation Foundation, and International Snow Leopard Trust conducted a study in the Tumor Feng Area of the western Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang. Heat and motion sensitive cameras were used to capture photographs of Snow Leopards and other animals in their natural habitats.  Transect surveys were also completed to examine signs left by Snow Leopards, including pug marks, scrapes, claw rakes, hair, and rest sites.  Feces were collected for genetic-based population assessment and food habits.


The study focused primarily on photographing the animals, taking great care not to disturb them. In total, 32 pictures of snow leopards were captured, as well as 22 pictures of other wild species and 72 pictures of local livestock.


In addition to studying Snow Leopards, the researchers counted approximately 264 ibexes in the area, observing their behavior for over 77 hours over the course of 18 days.


The research group also used a questionnaires to gather human-wildlife information from the local residents and passed out educational materials.

For more information, see expanded version Camera Trapping on Snow Leopards in the Muzat Valley or contact:

Ma Ming, Ph.D.

Xinjiang Conservation Foundation