A snow leopard female with cubs spotted in Buryatia

A snow leopard female with cubs spotted in Buryatia

7 October 2016

Traces of a snow leopard female and her two cubs have been spotted in Buryatia’s Okinsky District this autumn during a snow leopard research expedition organised by the Altai-Sayan branch of the World Wildlife Fund. The Okinsky District is situated in the Eastern Sayan mountains in the west of Buryatia and borders on the Irkutsk Region, Tyva and Mongolia.


“The fact that a new female with cubs has come is encouraging. Two litters per season is an excellent result. This shows that the snow leopard group that settled on the Eastern Sayan ridge is full-fledged and viable,” Alexander Karnaukhov, a WWF Altai-Sayan branch coordinator, told reporters.


Last winter, researchers spotted traces of another female snow leopard with cubs. Snow leopard population studies over the past two years point to the presence of eight snow leopards in Buryatia. But only one of them lives there permanently and has been repeatedly caught by trail cameras installed in Tunkinsky National Park. The rest are “nomads”: they come to Buryatia for a few months and then move to Mongolia.


Snow leopard research and conservation studies in Buryatia have been sponsored by the WWF Altai-Sayan branch and the Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences.