Chasing Ghosts in the Mongolian Altai

Katie Duffey is a snow leopard researcher who I have followed since the earliest days of The Jaguar and its Allies. Back in December of 2015 she agreed to do a Q&A session for my blog, which was incredibly gracious of her.

For the past few months, Katey has been surveying for snow leopards (Panthera uncia) in a remote region of Mongolia. She has just released her first post detailing that adventure, and it seems that her study was successful. She describes seeing abundant prey species, lots of tracks and scat, and even a wild snow leopard. This is a great read that you will not want to miss, so be sure to check it out!

Katey Duffey

Mongolia’s Bayan-Ölgii province is an incredibly remote, but beautiful region of mostly untouched wilderness situated right on the borders of Russia, China, and Kazakhstan. It features rugged 3,000-4,000m (9,842-13,123m) snowcapped peaks, with glacier-fed lakes, rivers, and a large variety of wildlife that includes snow leopards, wolves, wolverines, and Siberian brown bears.


This region first captivated me after learning of The Altai Project’s work on the Russian side. The photos of the challenging terrain, and diverse flora and fauna practically screamed at me to one day apply a field project within it. Eventually the wish came true when I met a researcher with the Green Initiative NGO who is surveying this little studied area for snow leopards. Of course we got chatting about a project I wanted to start that ideally requires samples from different regions, and behold, a new study site opened up with an epic collaboration!

IMG_3271 The sound of…

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