July 18, 2012—In spring 2012, conservationists fitted snow leopards with satellite collars in Afghanistan for the first time. Since then, one of the big cats has already roamed more than 160 kilometers (100 miles).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists snow leopards as endangered, meaning they face "a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future." The team hopes its tracking data can spur protection of the leopards' Afghan habitat—and help ensure a rosier future for the rare cats.

Noun

organism threatened with extinction.

Noun

process of complete disappearance of a species from Earth.

Noun

environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Noun

environmental organization concerned with preserving natural ecosystems and habitats.

rare
Adjective

unusual or uncommon.

research
Noun

scientific observations and investigation into a subject, usually following the scientific method: observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation, analysis, and conclusion.

satellite tag
Noun

device attached to animals that can track their movement using satellites and GPS technology.