Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve shows snow leopard cubs

Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve shows snow leopard cubs

22 February 2023

Experts at Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve have obtained new data on snow leopard cubs, born in 2022 to a female leopard, relocated from Tajikistan. This is her second litter on the new territory. Members of an expedition involving representatives of the Khakassia branch of the Russian Geographical Society collected unique photo and video materials.


“Snow leopards were less active in January and posed for the cameras less often. Quite possibly, they blazed new trails through deep snow and saved energy in sub-zero temperatures,” said Roman Afanasyev, head of the Research Department. “The latest video, obtained on 8 February, shows that the cubs have become much larger. The young snow leopards are playing in the snow, stalking, attacking and fighting each other, learning to hunt and in this way preparing for adult life,” he added.


The young snow leopards, who are about eight months old, continue to stay close to their mother. Snow leopards become independent when they are about 18 months old; before that, their mother prepares them for adult life. The maturing snow leopards study the world around them, their mother teaches them to mark their territory and to read other animals’ “call signs,” and they learn other skills from her, too.


During the expedition, research associates collected photo trap materials and repositioned equipment.


As a rule, camera traps are installed near animal trails and in places where the animals usually show up. In winter, researchers study animal tracks to select the best places to instal the automatic photo cameras.  

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