Since this spring, we’ve been following Tsetsen, a male snow leopard in Mongolia’s Tost Mountains, with a GPS collar. He’s the 20th cat we’ve tracked in our ongoing long-term study on the snow leopard’s ecology and behavior. His latest location data reveals just how extensive (and, presumably, exhausting) a snow leopard’s wanderings across its home range can be.
In October and November, Tsetsen covered a distance of 283 km (176 miles) – the distance between Seattle and Camas, or between London and York. Perhaps even more impressively, he climbed up over 7,100 meters (and the same amount back down again) in this time period. This altitudinal gain is equivalent to climbing up and down 2000 stories of an average skyscraper. In other words, climbing up and down the Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building, 12 times over.
These feats aren’t anything out of the ordinary for Tsetsen, who is a very steady wanderer, and a somewhat predictable cat in many ways. His patrols across his home range follow a pretty repetitive pattern, and the area he uses overlaps almost perfectly with the range another male snow leopard, Ariun, used to keep previously.