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The barbed wire will be dismantled on the border of Russia and Mongolia

20 july 2021
Dismantling of old non-used - barbed wire and old wooden poles border fences - will help open migration routes for rare snow leopard and Altai mountain sheep

On WWF-Russia initiative the barbed wire fences will be dismantled on the border of Russia and Mongolia in Altai Republic in July on a remote mountainous Ukok Plateau. The rangers will remove 14 kilometers of old non-used barbed wire fences and rotten wooden poles to save animals from dying of tangling in the barbed wire while migrating. Dismantling of barbed wire was approved by the Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, the rangers of the Directorate of Protected Areas will be working for several weeks to remove the wire and old poles on a remote area of high biodiversity. The project was supported by WWF and World Around You Foundation of Siberian Wellness, a Russian corporate donor.

The Ukok Plateau is a unique ecosystem, UNESCO Nature Heritage Object. The Zona Pokoya Ukok Nature Park is established in the area to conserve snow leopard and Altai mountain sheep. 

Removing barbed wire fences in 2020 on the Ukok Plateau.

“The barbed wire fences on the Ukok Plateau was installed in 80th. Several kilometers long fences made of wooden poles and walls of barbed wire affected migration of such rare species as snow leopard, Altai mountain sheep and other species that live on a unique high mountain plateau. Generations of animals have been moving along the migratory routes, today the instincts make them follow the same paths that are crossed by barbed wire. Trying to jump over the animals get tangled, dye or gat injured. Even birds can get caught by barbed wire. Such poor animals are found and reported by local herders who live on Ukok plateau and tourists. Today part of the wooden poles got rotten, they fell on the ground, the piles of barbed wire laying on the ground can hurt both domestic and wild animals even more. WWF Russia greets the permission of Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation of the Republic of Altai to dismantle barbed wire at the border. It will save the wild and domestic animals from horrible hurting and dying”, says Alexander Karnaukhov, Senior Project Coordinator of Altai-Sayan Branch of WWF-Russia.

The Ukok Plateau is a remote, hardly inaccessible territory. It’s possible to get here and effectively dismantle the barbed wire only in summer, it can get snowy even in August and the roads will become inaccessible. Inspectors of the Directorate for Protected Areas will dismantle the old engineering and technical structures in July and August in two expeditions. 

Dismantling of barbed wire.
(c) WWF / D. Bekhteref
“This summer we had a second phase of the project to dismantle the barbed wire. In 2020, inspectors of the Directorate of Protected Areas of the Altai Republic remover first 8 km of wire fences. This year, work will take place in the most inaccessible areas, where it is even difficult to drive up by car. The inspectors will first cut the old wire by hand using special tools. The poles and piles of wire will be dragged to the disposal site, where a special hydraulic press is installed. The mobile press will compress the wire into compact briquettes, which will be removed from the territory of the Ukok natural park by a truck. The wire will be recycled ", says Aydar Oinoshev, the Directorate of Protected Areas of the Republic of Altai.
For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer
Senior Project Coordinator