Winter count concluded at Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve

Winter count concluded at Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve

17 February 2020

It took over two weeks for researchers and rangers to go along 15 routes during the course of which they covered more than 160 km. The material they collected will help count the population of the reserve’s main animal species.


This year tracks of wolves, hares, sables, musk deer, boars and other animals were found along the routes. The reserve’s experts note that the number of wolves has grown compared to that of last year. A lot of tracks, marks and other traces of these predators were found near the reservoir.


In addition to this, snow leopard’s tracks were discovered along the routes and on the reservoir’s banks. Snow leopards move actively inside the reserve leaving their prints at the marking points. Sometimes tracks of different leopards crossed or went the same way.


“Wolves are the main food rivals of snow leopards, but the large population of hoofed animals in the reserve (especially Siberian goats) makes it possible for the two species to co-exist without noticeable conflicts,” noted Roman Afanasyev, senior research fellow and head of the reserve’s research department.


After the field work, scientists will process the data from the route counts with cameras. The results will become the base for the characteristics of the current state of some of the reserve’s species. Traditionally, the winter count opens the outfield season of the new calendar year. Up until December, new data will be added on every species during the work along the routes as well as using the photos captured by motion-sensor cameras.