WWF and partners counts Altai mountain sheep in Russia and Mongolia
Initiated and supported by WWF Russia and WWF Mongolia in both countries the counting of Altai mountain sheep is conducted simultaneously from 12 to 25 of October in the transboundary zone of two countries. The area is the key habitat of Argali in Altai-Sayan Ecoregion. Altai mountain sheep is the WWF s flagship species in both countries.
Altai mountain sheep monitoring in the transboundary zone of Russia and Mongolia is the official duty of two countries reached within the 8-th meeting of Russian-Mongolian joint commission on environmental protection in 2018. The representatives of Russia and Mongolia approved the Altai mountain sheep monitoring programme and agreed to conduct Argali census once in two years. The approve and unified counting methodology and simultaneous counting provides for comparable data from both countries and helps to avoid double counting the same individuals.
Altai argali transboundary census in 2017, (c) WWF / Ivan Usanov
According the last census of 2017 Altai mountain sheep population in the transboundary zone of Russia and Mongolia amounts up to 4675 sheep, 1295 of them inhabit Russia and 3380 Mongolia.
This year for Argali census in Russia WWF traditionally has state wildlife protection organizations as partners: Sailugemsky national park and the Directorate of protected areas in the Republic of Altai and Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve in the Republic of Tyva.
Argali in Altai, (c) Ivan Usanov
This year the experts in Russia will for the first time use the specific mobile application for Altai mountain sheep census. The application was developed by WWF Russia in 2018 to count the snow leopard but can also be used for other species monitoring.
The results of the survey will be announced in November 2019 after all data from Russia and Mongolia is collected and analyzed.