MIR films On a Snow Leopard’s Trail

MIR films On a Snow Leopard’s Trail

21 January 2016

MIR TV’s Yelena Zadneprovskaya and her film crew went to the Krasnoyarsk Territory to shoot the next instalment of Putevoditel (Field Guide) dedicated to the snow leopard, a rare sight in the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve.


Starring in the story, On a Snow Leopard’s Trail, were Yulia Surman, the reserve’s deputy director for environmental education, tourism and recreation, and Dr Viktor Lukarevsky, a biologist and leading research fellow. Assisted by the Russian Geographical Society, the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve has been studying the snow leopard for five years.


The experts led the TV crew along animal trails and helped them obtain trail camera videos with snow leopards. The cameras are installed where animals mark their territory, leaving urine marks and scratches. Monitoring revealed that the Ichthyander (Fish Man), a snow leopard named for its regular swims across the Yenisei River, dominates the reserve.


The crew were also shown a rock enclosure for entrapped snow leopards’ temporary holding.


For a while, the crew followed a tourist route in the reserve’s most scenic area, where wildlife photography is allowed and one can often come across an Alpine ibex, a roe deer, a red deer, a fish hawk or a white-tailed eagle. But this cannot be said for the snow leopard, a rare species listed in Russia’s Red Data Book. According to Mr Lukarevsky, the current number of snow leopards in Russia does not exceed 20. The reserve is inhabited by three adult cats – Mongol, Ichthyander and a female with cubs.