Johansson, Ö, Kachel, S., Weckworth, B. 2022. Guidelines for telemetry studies on snow leopards. Animals 12(13), 1663.
Animal-borne tracking devices have generated a wealth of new knowledge, allowing us to better understand, manage and conserve species. Fitting such tracking devices requires that animals are captured and often chemically immobilized. Such procedures cause stress and involve the risk of injuries and loss of life even in healthy individuals. For telemetry studies to be justifiable, it is vital that capture operations are planned and executed in an efficient and ethical way. Project objectives must be clearly articulated to address well-defined knowledge gaps, and studies designed to maximize the probability of achieving those goals. We provide guidelines for how to plan, design, and implement telemetry studies with a special emphasis on snow leopards that are typically captured using foot snares. We also describe the necessary steps to ensure that captures are conducted safely, and with minimal stress to animals.