Snow leopard research and preservation discussed at Sailyugem National Park

Snow leopard research and preservation discussed at Sailyugem National Park

21 September 2023

An interregional meeting to exchange expertise in studying and preserving the snow leopard in Russia, Mongolia and the Kyrgyz Republic took place at the visitor centre at Sailyugem National Park. The meeting participants included researchers from Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, as well as Russian experts from the Sayano-Shushensky and Ubsunur Hollow (Ubsunorskaya Kotlovina) biosphere reserves, the Shushensky Bor and Sailyugem national parks, the Altai directorate of protected natural areas, and the Asia-Irbis regional public environmental organisation.


The meeting participants presented the reports, Snow Leopard Monitoring in Sailyugem National Park; Snow Leopard Monitoring in the Ubsunur Hollow State Biosphere Reserve; Studying Snow Leopards in the Republic of Buryatia; Snow Leopard Preservation in the Sarychat-Eertash Nature Reserve; Snow Leopard Research and Preservation in Siilhem National Park.


Researcher from the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve Roman Afanasyev spoke about the ways to study snow leopard groups in the difficult conditions of the Western Sayan Mountains and the results of regular expeditions.


“By 2017, only one male snow leopard was recorded in the Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve; emergency measures needed to be taken to save the northernmost group of snow leopards. In 2018-2019, as part of a federal programme, two snow leopards were brought from Tajikistan and released in the biosphere reserve. In 2020, the female had a litter of two cubs. In late 2021, the grown cubs, a male and a female, started their independent life. In 2022, the female had another litter of three cubs, which are now still accompanying their mother. As of today, the Sayano-Shushensky biosphere reserve is home to nine snow leopards who live there permanently,” Roman Afanasyev said.


In conclusion of the meeting, Sailyugem National Part presented gifts to all participants from the Irbis Interregional Association: camera traps, batteries, memory cards, radios, tents and gear for working in the field. The reliable equipment and warm clothing will help the researchers study and preserve the snow leopard in the harsh mountain conditions and climate