Altai and Buryatia to launch snow leopard counts

Altai and Buryatia to launch snow leopard counts

26 January 2016

A roundtable discussion held in the Altai Republic on 22 January 2016 brought together researchers of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), WWF Russia experts and representatives of local specially protected natural areas to discuss upcoming snow leopard counts as part of Russia’s snow leopard conservation strategy, approved in 2014. 


The key objectives of this large-scale work are to gather more accurate data on the snow leopard population in Russia and work out a uniform approach to snow leopard research.


According to Alexander Karnaukhov, the chief engineer of an expedition to monitor the snow leopard population, which was organised by the Severtsov Institute, traces of four snow leopards were found in the Republic of Buryatia, on the Tunkinskiye Goltsy and Munku-Sardyk mountain ridges, thanks to molecular-genetic tests and trail camera photos. Snow leopard traces were also spotted on the Kropotkinsky and Bolshoy Sayan ridges, which is where experts will focus their efforts first.


A fully fledged snow leopard count will be conducted in the Altai Republic as well. WWF experts claim that 35 snow leopards are currently living in the Altai Mountains.