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Altai banned Siberian Ibex hunting

29 july 2022
Altai Republic became the first region of Russia to issue zero licenses for Siberian ibex.
The decision of the Governor followed the call of nature conservation organization, WWF included, to stop hunting Ibex, snow leopard key prey. The public campaigning and local people support helped move the stone.

WWF welcomes the decision of the Altai Republic to stop the hunt for the Siberian ibex. According to WWF experts, this measure is the first step towards restoring the population of the ingulates in the region.

WWF and Siberian Wellness' World Around You Foundation provide financial and scientific support for the conservation of the snow leopard and its prey, the Siberian ibex, in Russia.

Siberian ibex in Altai Republic
(c) WWF / Alexey Kuzhlekov
“WWF welcomes the decision of Oleg Khorokhordin, the Head of Altai Republic. According to the regional Committee for the Wildlife Protection, over the past 10 years, the number of Siberian ibex in the hunting grounds of the Altai Republic has decreased from 8810 to 3387 individuals. The Siberian ibex is the main prey for the rare snow leopard. The well-being and abundance of a rare predator directly depends on the number of ibex. The ban on hunting this year is the right decision, the moratorium will help save animals, the number of which is sharply declining,” says Ilya Morozov, WWF project coordinator.
Siberian ibex
(c) WWF / Igor Ivanitsky

On July 28, 2022, the Decree of the Head of the Altai Republic, Chairman of the Government of the Altai Republic dated No. 198-u “On approval of the limits for the harvesting the hunting resources in the Altai Republic for the period from August 1, 2022 to August 1, 2023” was published. The law does not provide for a quota for the harvesting of the Siberian ibex. According to the Center for Regional Management of the Republic of Altai, 92% of the residents surveyed in the habitats of the ibex voted in favor of a three-year moratorium.

WWF Russia greets the decision of Altai Republic and draws attention to the shortage of rangers in the region. WWF experts calls for raising the number of PAs’ and Game Department’s rangers as well as strengthening the material and technical base to ensure the effective control over hunting regulations.

Siberian ibex in Sailugemsky National Park

"Siberian ibex inhabits areas that are hart to reach, difficult to patrol. A moratorium on hunting is only the first measure. There are always people who do not read laws. WWF hopes that the Head of the region will also consider increasing the number of inspectors in the region. This will reduce the pressure of poaching and allow to restore the number of wild ungulates in the future. The low number of ibex has already affected the grouping of the snow leopard on the Chikhachev Ridge. There is not a single protected area here, and there is only one ranger to cover huge area of Kosh-Agach district, the largest and most mountainous district of the republic,” says Alexander Karnaukhov, Senior Project Coordinator of WWF in the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.

WWF initiates and supports research and conservation of the snow leopard in Russia. The Siberian ibex is a snow leopards’ main prey. Back in 2020, after the census of the number of ibex, the Fund and other environmental organizations of the Altai Republic proposed to consider the introduction of a moratorium on ibex hunting as one of the measures to protect the species.

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