Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve to continue snow leopard studies

Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve to continue snow leopard studies

28 April 2021

At the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve, a project the goal of which is to study and to preserve the snow leopard, has won the 2021 grants competition, organised by the Russian Geographical Society.


Earlier on this year, the Russian Geographical Society’s Board of Trustees allocated 36 grants for projects of its regional branches and 47 grants for initiative projects, including the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve project.


The aim of this is to preserve and to study the population of snow leopards at the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve, the northern boundary of these animals’ Russian and global habitats. For this purpose, researchers will work to streamline the system for protecting the rare feline’s local habitats in the specially protected area. They will continue monitoring to obtain data on the local snow leopard population, and will draft methodological recommendations for restoring the number of snow leopards using the translocation method, based on the Reserve’s experience. There are also plans to organise an international photo expedition to areas where snow leopards are known to live.


The snow leopard subspecies is listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and the Supplement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Specialists are estimating that Russia probably only has about between 70 and 90 leopards left.