Cool Science
Up on the Roof

July 6, 2016

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Photo Credit: ©WCS

Snow leopards may be more common than previously thought. A new book suggests there may be between 4,678 and 8,745 of them in a roughly one-million-square-mile area. That's higher than previous estimates for the entire global population.

Of course, it's not easy to count snow leopards. Because of their remote and difficult habitat, shy behavior, and cryptic coloration, studying these cats has been extremely difficult.

"Only in recent years have advances such as satellite telemetry and compact camera traps capable of taking high-quality night shots while surviving extreme low temperatures allowed scientists to begin to unravel the mysteries behind the snow leopard's life," said WCS scientist and veterinarian Dr. Stephane Ostrowski.

This surprising new census information appears in the book, Snow Leopards. WCS affiliates and staff authored or co-authored nine chapters.

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