Winter route census begins in Sayano-Shushensky Reserve

Winter route census begins in Sayano-Shushensky Reserve

21 February 2022

A winter route census has begun in the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve. It is one of the main procedures used to count the reserve’s animal populations. 


The annual count is conducted by researchers and state inspectors of the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve and representatives of the Khakassian regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society. Before the start of the census, members of the research department instruct fieldworkers in the counting methods and the rules for filling in registration cards and other documents.


Winter route counting takes two days. On the first day, fieldworkers remove all animal tracks left in the snow and cover the animal paths with snow. On the second day, all the animal tracks that have newly appeared are counted and recorded, with details of the species, direction and number of animals that crossed the route. The cards filled in during the field work are then processed in the office, and the number of crossings of tracks per 10 km of the route is estimated for each species in its habitat to determine the density of animal populations living in the reserve. In addition to registering this information, fieldworkers also fill in the cards of the animals’ prey and visual observation cards.


In 2022, the counting will continue until the end of February. The researchers involved in the counting will walk along 14 routes with a total length of more than 150 km.