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