Autumn data confirm stability of ibex population

Autumn data confirm stability of ibex population

2 December 2014

In mid-November researchers of the Sayano-Shushensky Nature Reserve counted the Siberian ibex population in the valley of the Bolshiye Ury River. Ibex is the main food source of the snow leopard.


Roman Afanasyev, a senior research fellow at Sayano-Shushensky, said: “The estrus cycle is one of the most important aspects of the life of the Siberian ibex. It occurs in November-December. Herds are getting bigger (the population of mixed herds may reach about 100 animals). They form so-called harems with about 15 ibex females.”


Ibex were counted on the open mountain slopes. All in all, researchers traversed a distance of over 50 km along the river’s valley.


They counted more than 400 ibex. Compared to past years, the ibex population has remained stable, which is good news for snow leopards, especially in winter. The snow leopard population depends on the existence of a stable food source.


According to recent data, there are at least seven snow leopards at Sayano-Shushensky.