Zoologists demand ban on hunting in Mongolia

Zoologists demand ban on hunting in Mongolia

29 March 2011

Zoologists from the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences have denounced the issuing of a permit in Mongolia to shoot and kill four snow leopards for research purposes. The Russian scientists said they consider the killing of such rare animals unacceptable, even for the sake of science.


There are numerous projects in Russia to study and protect rare and endangered wildlife, particularly snow leopards, Amur tigers and polar bears. The institute relies to the greatest extent possible on non-invasive methods – which do not require contact with the animals – to conduct their research, including molecular genetic, hormonal, veterinary, parasitological and field techniques.


The Severtsov Institute recently signed a cooperation agreement with the Mongolian Biosphere and Ecology Association for joint research in priority fields of zoology, reproductive biology and genetics. The agreement provides for joint ethological studies of predatory mammals in the two countries' border areas, the building and equipping of a snow leopard nursery in Mongolia, and the introduction of podometric methods to identify individual large predators by their tracks, especially snow leopards.


Researchers at the institute also intend to study tissue samples of wild and nursery animals that are found dead. These studies will include molecular and genetic bone tests. Russian experts categorically reject the killing of animals, especially snow leopards, and refuse to use any samples obtained in this way.