Fighting poaching in snow leopard and argali habitats of Russia
UAZ cars, the most popular and appropriate Russian off-road vehicle, were delivered to the antipoaching “Irbis” brigade in the south of Krasnoyarsky Krai and the patrol brigade in Altai Republic. The cars were of great help in harsh landscapes and for the long distance of Altai – Sayan.
For rangers in Altai Republic spring was a relatively calm period. Hunting season was closed and wild ungulates were skinny after winter period. For three months the inspectors patrolled the area of 6 districts of Altai Republic with focus on the Sailyugem Ridge, Shavlinsky Refuge and the Argut River valley – the habitats of argali and snow leopard. The wardens inspected 31 herders’ yurts, 50 cars and 7 person, confiscated 15 guns (including 5 illegal), issued 20 protocols, removed 27 wires, discovered one case of illegally harvested roe deer.
This May snow leopard monitoring team spotted a poacher in the Chikhacheva Ridge in the border zone of Russia and Mongolia: six rifle shots troubled the mountain silence. The team called to border guards and group of soldiers arrived in the problem area. Thanks to the joined and quick actions of the monitoring team and border guards the poacher was arrested. He was a dweller of a local village hunting ungulates in the border zone, where all hunting is prohibited.
The populations of argali and snow leopard in Chikhacheva Ridge are threatened by poaching. Hunting should be totally diminished in the area to provide good conditions for the snow leopard.