Winter counts to be held in Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve

Winter counts to be held in Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve

7 February 2017

Traditional winter counts will begin in the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve in February.


Scheduled for February 17-28, they will help measure the populations of 25 animal and bird species: squirrel, otter, wolf,   Arctic hare, wild boar, musk  deer, roe deer, marten, weasel, fox, elk, Pallas’s cat, maral (red deer), mink, reindeer, skunk bear, lynx, sable, snow leopard, Siberian mountain goat, blackcock, cock of the woods, hazel grouse, snowcock and Daurian partridge.


Winter counts in Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve cover 13 trails totalling 145 kilometres. The trail list was approved by a council of experts. The assessment method is as follows: first, fresh tracks left by animals crossing a trail are counted and later scale factors are used to determine the population of each of the species identified during the winter counts.


Taking part in the counts, as usual, will be employees of the reserve’s research and protection units. They will be accompanied by their colleagues from the department of ecological education, tourism and recreation.


The count data will be processed, and the final figures will be used to update the population statistics for each of the species inhabiting the reserve, showing whether their populations are growing or shrinking. Moreover, the data obtained during the counts will shed more light on the biology of each of the species and how well they are being protected.