Guta snow leopard is back from Mongolia, Khorgai, the oldest snow leopard in Altai, is safe and sound
Khorgai was last registered in spring of 2018 on the Chikhacheva ridge but before he had not been registered for a long time and the experts were afraid the male could not have been able to survive through severe winter of 2018. Here we are – the new images of June and Khorgai is safe and sound. Guta, a well-known by Russian zoologist snow leopard female, Chikhacheva ridge resident was captured by camera as well. Before 2018 Guta as well as Khorgai had not been registered for a long time, since 2016 when she was captured pregnent. She obviously was in Mongolia and might have even gave birth and raised her cubs their and later came back to Russia. The characteristic trait of Guta is her broken tail. She is clearly recognizable by the tracks on the snow that her broken tail leaves. During this field season the cameras also captured a new young snow leopard male never seen by the experts before.
Khorgai returned in spring of 2018
Russian and Mongolian experts have been working since spring to identify the number of the snow leopards in the transboundary are of two countries. Mongolia this year is having the first national wide-scale census of a rare predator. WWF-Mongolia along with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia bring governmental and national non-government organizations and researchers to assess the snow leopard population in Mongolia. All experts work using the same snow leopard monitoring methodology proposed by WWF Russia in 2017. The methodology was developed by WWF Russia experts in partnership with the University of New York and Snow Leopard Conservancy.
Guta in 2015
Monitoring of the snow leopard on the Chikhacheva is special in Russia as this is the only habitat where the experts are assisted by a volunteer group of people that call their team “Tracking Snow Leopard Expedition”. Headed by Igor Pautov, a business from Novosibirsk, a big city of Siberia, the group of people from different parts of Russia every year come to Altai to assist the expert in research and conservation. At their own expanse the volunteers buy cameras, pay for food and travel fees and walk the same mountain paths that the snow leopards and the expert walk to monitor the rare predator.
Guided by Sergey Spitsyn, WWF expert and one of the best snow leopard expert in Russia, the scientist of Altaisky Nature Reserve, the team help save the precious resources and time of the conservationists later contributing a lot to awareness raising by making video and photo content, exhibition and press-conferences on the results of the research.