High Altitude Theater: The Winners

You voted and the results are in! Now it's time to see the top three camera-trap films of the year. Scroll through the article to reveal the first-ever High Altitude Theater award winners.

The winner of Best Action Performance is…

The Three Musketeers! All for one and one for all! Or rather– all for one and one to pester mom.

In spring 2019, using data from a GPS tracking collar, Snow Leopard Trust researchers pinpointed the den site of a female snow leopard named Dagina. While Dagina was out on a hunt, the team carefully examined and chip-tagged her three cubs to record their health and ensure they can be identified later, once they’ve grown up. In October of last year, we captured footage of these very same cubs from Dagina’s fourth litter. Dagina is one of the world’s most comprehensibly studied wild snow leopards. At eleven years old, she is still going strong and contributing to cutting-edge science. We have learned some incredible information from this snow leopard supermom.

The winner of Best Ensemble Performance is…

The Nap! This snow leopard ensemble has already won the gold medal for their synchronized cat napping, they’re confident of their chances today.

This series of camera trap photos shows two snow leopards cozied up in Qinghai. Although snow leopards are solitary, they do come together in the winter months to mate. Through our GPS tracking studies, we’ve found that home ranges of individual cats can overlap quite a bit, with several females using parts of one male snow leopard’s range. Of course, this helps males and females find each other during the mating season from January to March. The cats also communicate with each other through scent marking and other signs along snow leopard trails.

The winner of Best Solo Performance is…

Call me Cat, Pallas Cat! You expect me to pose? No, Mr. Cat, I expect you to pounce!

The Pallas’ Cat is a small feline that is just as elusive as the snow leopard, but perhaps even more unknown.  In partnership with Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation Mongolia and park rangers of Gurvan Saikhan National Park, our team surveys the South Gobi’s mountains with remote-sensor research cameras to monitor the area’s snow leopard population. These cameras have also taken hundreds of photos of other species that share the same habitat, such as the Pallas’ cat.

Thank you to everyone who voted and who attended our virtual fundraising event. We are immensely grateful for your support and your passion for conservation. If you missed the event, don’t fret. We are extending ticket sales for a few more weeks! Go to tickets.snowleopard.org to view all 24 hours of the recorded content, including the High Altitude Theater Awards Ceremony. You’ll hear fascinating stories from the scientists who set these camera-traps and find out how these sneak peeks into the natural world help inform snow leopard conservation.

Pujii (pictured here) is one of our talented, dedicated team members who sets camera-traps in these remote mountainous areas. Check out our virtual event to hear Pujii’s incredible stories!

Thank you to Sherry Young for editing all of these award-worthy videos! And thanks to our partner organizations who provided footage: Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation Mongolia, Snow Leopard Foundation Kyrgyzstan, State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry in Kyrgyzstan, ShanShui Conservation Center, and Panthera. All soundtracks are courtesy of Epidemic Sound.

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