Ichthyander the swimming snow leopard

Ichthyander the swimming snow leopard

8 August 2014

A team of experts conducted a preliminary assessment of the snow leopard population in the Sayano-Shushensky nature reserve from 2 to 6 August. The team consisted of Viktor Lukarevsky from the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the reserve's director Gennady Kiselyov, and journalist Yekaterina Golovina from the Association of Nature Reserve and National Park Directors.


The camera traps installed throughout the reserve revealed some unexpected findings: one of the snow leopards who lives in the reserve managed to swim from one bank of the Yenisei River to the other – a distance of 800 metres. The swimming snow leopard, whose estimated age is 5-6 years, was nicknamed Ichthyander.


Cameras have also captured images of the snow leopard Mongol, who still wears a tracking collar. In July, Mongol was photographed six times.


But the most important finding was that the reserve is still home to an adult female snow leopard that was last caught on camera in May 2014. Experts have determined that she spends a lot of time deep in the reserve's interiors, staying away from the coastline. In their current locations, the camera traps are unable to provide a complete understanding of the distribution of animals in the reserve. In the near future the placement of the camera traps will be changed and more cameras will be installed, yielding fresh data on the snow leopard population in the Sayano-Shushensky nature reserve.