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Премия рунета 2017

SNOW LEOPARD POPULATION IN RUSSIA INCREASED COMPARED TO 2020

26 may 2022
At a press conference in TASS, WWF Russia announced the results of the latest snow leopard census in Russian Federation
The respresentatives of governmental conservation organizations and regional authorities joined the press-conference online.
TASS News Agency

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.

Сотрудники РЭО "Азия-Ирбис" во время учета в Бурятии на хребте Восточный Саян.
Сотрудники РЭО "Азия-Ирбис" во время учета в Бурятии на хребте Восточный Саян.
Сотрудники РЭО "Азия-Ирбис" во время учета в Бурятии на хребте Восточный Саян.
Сотрудники РЭО "Азия-Ирбис" во время учета в Бурятии на хребте Восточный Саян.
Сотрудники государственного комитета по охране объектов животного мира и водных биологических ресурсов Республики Тыва устанавливают фотоловушки
Следы снежного барса найдены сотрудниками Дирекции ООПР Республики Алтай
Participants of the snow leopard census's expeditions.
(c) WWF / Данил Барашков, РОЭ "Азия-Ирбис", нацпарк "Сайлюгемкий"

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.

The number of snow leopards is an important indicator of the conservation success or failure. The results if the census prove, that the snow leopard population is fine if the habitat is well protected, for instance, in Argut cluster of Sailugemsky National Park. And on the contrary, the snow leopard numbers are little on the Chikhacheva ridge and the Southern Altai ridge in Altai and the Eastern Sayan in Buryatia Republic. The Chikhachev Ridge is an important corridor along which snow leopards move from Russia to Mongolia and back. In autumn, only 2 snow leopards were captured by cameras on the ridge, although earlier - 7-8 individuals were registered. That is why it is necessary to create a buffer zone of the Altai Reserve or the Sailyugemsky National Park. WWF also believes that it is necessary to create a protected natural area in the Eastern Sayan in the Okinsky district of the Republic of Buryatia. Without the creation of protected areas, the snow leopard group here is simply doomed to gradual extinction,” says Alexander Karnaukhov, Senior Project Coordinator of the WWF Russia Representative Office in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.

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.

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Senior Project сoordinator