Snow Leopard census starts in Russia on the initiative of WWF
The wide scale snow leopard census will cover three regions, the Republics of Altai, Tyva and Buryatia, all key snow leopard habitats in Russia. It’s been the fourth year since the first wide scale snow leopard census was implemented in 2017 on WWF initiative and with support of VTB-bank. Last winter snow leopard census found 61 snow leopards totally Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.
This year for the first time the experts will use smartphones with a newly developed application for snow leopard census. The application was developed on WWF initiative in 2018 by NextGIS, a Russian IT company (Moscow). Thanks to WWF’s corporate donors prior to census all key snow leopard experts in Russia were provided with smartphones and were trained at operating the application.
The first group of experts set up for field monitoring while the temperatures in Russian Altai dropped down to -30 degrees centigrade. The series of expeditions will be implemented till the end of April by protected areas’ staff and conservation NGO. The final results will be obtained in May after the expert have analyzed all data collected.
Snow Leopard Conservation Strategy in the Russian Federation was officially approved by Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation in 2002, updated in 2015. Today all key snow leopard conservation activities in Russia is initiated and supported by WWF Russia. WWF unites and directs the efforts protected areas, local NGOs and corporate onors in partnership with authorities to secure the stable snow leopard population in key habitats.