We want the WWF site to be comfortable and interesting for you. We work with web analytics to become better. Cookies are used to collect analytical data. All information is completely confidential and is never passed on to third parties. Confirm your agreement with the policy regarding cookies or learn more about the technology.
Accept
What we do
Regions
Премия рунета 2017

Not enough prey for snow leopard on the Yuzhno-Chuisky ridge but two new cubs on the Sailugem ridge

20 march 2019
Sailugemsky National Park with WWF support reports on the results of the snow leopard census

During their expeditions to the Sailugem and Yuzhno-Chuisky ridges the inspectors and scientists of Sailugemsky National Park surveyed the snow leopard habitats, checked camera traps, collected the samples for DNA-analysis. 

“Last summer we did first serious camera trapping on the Yuzhno-Chuisky ridge and already were surprised at the number of hunters and vehicles on the ridge as well as the level of uncontrolled tourism. This winter expedition confirmed our concerns. The cameras have been working since summer but have registered only single passes of the snow leopard. We presume that the area does not provide enough prey for the snow leopard. The ridge is easily accessible for both legal hunters and poachers. The Siberian ibex, main snow leopard prey, is scarce and the anxiety from people is high”, says Denis Malikov, the Vice-Director of Sailugemsky National Park, WWF expert.
The inspectors of Sailugemsky National Park check and set camera traps during the snow leopard census.
The inspectors of Sailugemsky National Park came across the of scratch of the snow leopard on the larch tree where the animal sharpened his claws.
The inspectors of Sailugemsky National Park observed the Siberian ibex on the Sailugem ridge.
The inspectors of Sailugemsky National Park observed the Siberian ibex on the Sailugem ridge.
The inspectors of Sailugemsky National Park surveyed the area searching for the snow leopard scat and paw prints.
The camera trap set on the Sailugem ridge in the spot where the snow leopard is the most likely to appear.
The habitats of the snow leopard on the Sailugem ridge.
The habitats of the snow leopard on the Sailugem ridge.
The inspector of Sailugemsky National Park Aduchi Beletov set the camera trap on the Sailugem ridge.
Snow leopard census on the Sailugem and Yuzhno-Chuisky ridges
(c) WWF / Sailugemsky National Park / Denis Gulyaev
“We proved that Yuzhno-Chuisky ridge is just a transit habitat for the snow leopard, there are no residential individuals. However, it remains the important corridor between the group of animals from Mongolia and Russia and back, from the Chikhacheva ridge to the Argut river valley. The area deserves attention. At the same time another habitat, the Sailugem ridge, that we considered just a transit zone for the snow leopard had presents for us. The cameras registered the well-known female snow leopard with a couple of new cubs”, says Alexander Karnaukhov, Senior Coordinator of Altai-Sayan Programme of WWF Russia.
The female snow leopard that inhabits the Sailugem ridge. The first camera trap image of 2017.
The female snow leopard that inhabits the Sailugem ridge. The images of 2018, the female caught with a new litter of two cubs.
The female snow leopard that inhabits the Sailugem ridge. The images of 2018, the female caught with a new litter of two cubs.
The female snow leopard that inhabits the Sailugem ridge. The images of 2018, the female caught with a new litter of two cubs.
The female from the Sailugem ridge caught on camera latelly with two grown up cubs of 2018.
Camera traps images
(c) WWF / Sailugemsky National Park

The Sailugem ridge is the closest to the settlements area where the scientists register the snow leopard in the Republic of Altai. First camera trap was set on one of the hills of Sailugem ridge close to the visit-centre of Sailugemsky National Park in 2017 during WWF media tour. The ridge was considered the transit zone for the snow leopard and the scientists did not really expect to get the images. The hill was chosen as the point easy to climb for the journalists to show how the camera work. To their own surprise next time the scientists checked the camera there were the images of the female snow leopard with two cubs. The dark picture of a tail and two couple of eyes turned the expectations upside down. Later presumably one of the cubs was registered by camera lying in the sun close to the area. In 2018 the female was caught on camera with the new litter and now Sailugemsky had new winter images: the cubs luckily survived through winter, the most dangerous period and looked fine. 

The cub of the female from the Sailugem ridge, 2017.

It brings hope that the group on the Sailugem ridge will have two new snow leopard. Sailugemsky National Park contribute to the rise of the snow leopard number in the area, it is the key partner of WWF in snow leopard conservation in the Republic of Altai. There are 13 snow leopards within the park’s boundaries.

The survey on the Sailugem and Yuzhno-Chuisky is part of the annual snow leopard census that has been implemented in the Russian Federation since 2016 on the initiative of WWF Russia and with support of corporate partners and conservation organizations in key snow leopard habitats. This year the experts for the first time in the world use the smartphone’s application foe the snow leopard census.

It’s been the fourth year since the first wide scale snow leopard census was implemented in 2015 on WWF initiative. This year the census is supported by VTB-Bank, World Around You Foundation of the Siberian Wellness Corporation and Xiaomi.  Last winter snow leopard census found 61 snow leopards totally Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.

For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer
Senior Project Coordinator