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NINETEEN REINDEER REGISTERED BY CAMERA TRAPS IN THE ALTAI RESERVE

01 december 2021
WWF sums up the results of the summer-autumn work on the study of reindeer in the Altai Republic

The Altai Nature Reserve is home to 19 reindeer, of which 14 are adult and semi-mature deer, 3 are 1 year old, and 2 are young-of-the-year calves. Such are the conclusions of the researchers of the Altai Nature Reserve based on the results of expeditions to study the rare species of ungulates in the protected area.

 

The Altai Nature Reserve is home to 19 reindeer
(c) WWF / Altai Nature Reserve

In October 2021, researchers and inspectors of the Altai Nature Reserve checked 10 of the 18 camera traps that the experts installed back in July. Scientists failed to find three cameras, since the snow cover was high; they will be rechecked in the summer. The cameras contained a total of 7,000  images, of which 252 featured reindeer who passed in front of the cameras 30 times. Apart from reindeer, the camera traps caught several bears, a wolverine and a wolf. Also, the researchers met a reindeer at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level. 

Expedition of the Altai Nature Reserve
(c) WWF / Altai Nature Reserve
“Harsh weather conditions, constant snowfall with wind, and low visibility hindered normal observations in reindeer habitats. In some areas that we covered on foot, the depth of the snow cover was over 30 centimeters,” notes Yuri Kalinkin, head of the expedition, Ph.D., leading researcher of the Altai Nature Reserve.
Other animals on footage from camera traps
(c) WWF / Altai Nature Reserve

The members of the expedition checking camera traps also discovered people who didn’t have a permission to be at the reserve. All the photographs and data were recorded and will serve as the basis for initiating an administrative investigation.

In addition to research, scientists and inspectors carried out preparatory works for a winter expedition to the Altai Nature Reserve: they made a stock of firewood at winter huts and camps, repaired two winter huts, and brought food supplies.

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Senior Project сoordinator