Hampster invasions and other problems

It seems hampsters–yes, those cute little critters you find in pet stores–are native to Mongolia and they are invading the yurts at our base camp.

Another problem, this one not quite so cute: gas prices have gone up by 30% and are now equivalent to around $5 (US) /gallon.

This is a real challenge considering snow leopards don’t live near cities, they live far out in the field. Our base camp is in prime snow leopard habitat, but it’s a 10 hour drive from the provincial capital of Dalanzadgad (the nearest public airport), and 22 hours from the national capital of Ulaanbaatar. Locally, the team has to drive just to get water, or food. And the drive is over some of the rockiest terrain you can imagine–think cobblestone with extra cobbles and stones.


  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.

    Tim Ramsey

  2. Hi Tim, thanks for the comment. You’re one of the first to leave a comment (obviously), and it helps us a lot. For one thing, now we know people are reading! I’m glad you enjoy it so far. Let us know if there are ways we can improve.

  3. Snow leopards are my favorite animals. Thanks for going all the way out there to save them!

    I hope to create animated cartoons someday; is there a way that I could access the trap camera photos (in Aug. 15, a post mentioned that they take photos one at a time very quickly)? They could help animators capture the movements of these animals in their drawings.

  4. Just a follow-up, I just received a short video from the field in which they did actually combine their trap camera photos to make a “video”–I’ll post it to the Mongolia: Life at Base Camp Photo Gallery, and to the Snow Leopard Trust Flickr page.

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