In Altai Republic snow leopards compete with each other to breed
Camera trap’s video shows a snow leopard passing in front of the camera. The mounatins are covered with snow, the cat has wet fur, a little pieces of ice are seen on animal’s fur and a big flat stone is also “glued” to long hairs on the tail. The snow leopard is actively stretching like an ordinary cat after a deep sleep. A flat stone is firmly held on its tail. Obviously, the beast slept for a long time, tail turned up, the snow melted, and the stone froze tightly to the skin. In such harsh conditions, snow leopards survive in the Altai and Sayan mountains. Camera registered the time when the footage was taken. It’s 4 PM, the sun is setting, but it's time for the snow leopards to get up, as they are active at dusk.
A snow leopard with a stone stuck to its fur
Sailu snow leopard
Camera traps on the Yuzhno-Chuysky Ridge were set by employees of the Sailyugemsky National Park together with residents of the Kosh-Agachsky District, that hosts almost the entire population of snow leopards in the Altai Republic. Since 2015, the project to involve local people in studying and protection of the rare cat has been implemented by WWF-Russia and Sailyugemsky National Park. The project invites herders and hunters living in the habitats of the snow leopard to become its keepers. Local residents receive training, camera traps and help conservationists to study the elusive cat, remove snares and traps of poachers.
Unfortunately, not all cameras installed to monitor the snow leopard on the Yuzhno-Chuysky Ridge were able to capture the animals. Two cameras were gnawed by wolverines, the curious beasts, that often spoil the inventory of scientists. The wolverine's fight with the camera also caught on camera, leaving an animal caught red-handed doing its “crime”.
Wolverine gnawing a camera trap
Other snow leopards were also caught by cameras: a female with cubs at night, an alert snow leopard, apparently sneaking up on prey, a large number of rare birds: Altai snowcocks, a manul walking the same trails as snow leopards.
A female snow leopard with 2 cubs
Working with local residents of Altai continues, the results of the year will be summed up at the end of December - employees of the Saylyugemsky National Park will calculate how many snow leopards are under the protection of local residents.
- WANT TO HELP SAVE THE SNOW LEOPARD?
Give your passport to the snow leopard and help save the spotted predator: bars.wwf.ru