SNOW LEOPARD POPULATION IN RUSSIA INCREASED COMPARED TO 2020
WWF-Russia completed the census of the snow leopard in key habitats of the Russian Federation. The minimum number of snow leopard population was estimated by 73-75 individuals, of which 55-57 adults, 18 kittens in 9 litters. For comparison: in 2020, 51 snow leopards were counted in Russia, and in 2018 - 61 individuals. The survey was initiated and supported by the WWF in partnership with governmental and non-governmental conservation organization supported by World Around You Foundation of the Siberian Wellness Corporation, Xiaomi and WWF supporters.
This year the record number of participants joined the census: 82 rangers, scientists and volunteers of state funded and non-governmental organizations. In 2022, compared to 2020, the number of snow leopard grouping has slightly increased in the Argut River basin and on the South Chuisky Range in the Altai Republic. The state of snow leopard grouping’s number is stable on the Tsagan-Shibetu and Shapshalsky ridges in the Republic of Tyva, the Sailyugem ridge in the Altai Republic.
For the first time, scientists have confirmed the presence of the snow leopard on the Khemchiksky and Kurtushibinsky ridges along the border of the Republic of Tyva with the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Thanks to camera traps, the experts found out that in the Shanchy cluster of the Tyva Nature Park there are 2 e snow leopards, which were previously recorded in the neighboring Krasnoyarsk Territory in the Sayano-Shushensky Reserve.
Snow leopard captured by camera traps in Tyva.
According to WWF Russia, the total number of snow leopards has been relatively stable since 2015 - about 60-70 individuals.
A full-scale census of the snow leopard’s number and condition has been taking place in the Russian Federation since 2015 on the initiative and with the support of WWF every year, and since 2018 - every two years in the republics of Altai, Tyva and Buryatia, where up to 90% snow leopard populations.
Researchers use automatic cameras, tracking method and genetic analyses (excrements, wool) to determine the abundance of the species. The data is recorded by experts in the field using the NextGIS Collector mobile application, developed with the support of WWF Russia. The participants work on the basis of methodological recommendations for organizing and conducting snow leopard monitoring in the Russian Federation, developed in 2020 at the initiative of WWF Russia, and in 2021 officially approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. The main tool for obtaining information about the snow leopard is automatic cameras, which are now installed and regularly used in all key snow leopard groups in Russia.