Fifteen snow leopards will be protected by local people in Altai
In 2020 the joint conservation project of WWF Russia and Pernod Ricard in the Republic of Altai will expand the area of the snow leopard habitats patrolled by local villagers of Kosh-Agachsky district. Sailugemsky national park is the main partner of the project in Altai. National parks’ employers work together with local people to protect the snow leopard in the region, collect the data on wildlife crimes.
Since 2017 the local people who live in the villages of the remote district of the Republic of Altai in snow leopard habitat have been helping the rangers and scientists to study and protect the snow leopard. They set the camera traps, patrol the individual area, report of wildlife crimes and receive the award for their duty. The images of the snow leopards captured by camera traps are the proves that the snow leopards in the area are safe and sound and have not been poached out by locals. Some villagers participate in snow leopard monitoring expeditions along with the professional scientists and inspectors as they know the area very well ad help with spotting the signs of snow leopard presence.
Today the total area of snow leopard habitat under protection of local people who live in Dzhazator, Argut, Kosh-Agach and Kurai villages amounts up to half a million hectares. Fifteen snow leopards on an average are registered on this territory. Some of the individuals have been studied by scientists for years. They have names, the stories of their marriages and cubs, relations and interactions have been registered by camera traps.
A SNOW LEOPARD OF THE ARGUT RIVER VALLEY © SAILUGEMSKY NATIONAL PARK
In 2019 Mergen Markov, one the project participant, the dweller of Argut village, was awarded by the title of “Pride of Russia” within the frames of the project that tells about “the ordinary people of Russia that are do what the country is proud of”.