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Eight snow leopards inhabit the ridge along Russian-Mongolian border

24 september 2020
The snow leopards were registered in Russia on Chikhacheva ridge that divides two countries. The data and description of such rare animals who live in the transboundary area is important to prevent double counting of the same individuals by each country.

Playing cubs, the oldest snow leopard of Altai and cubs breaking the cameras – the images captured during snow leopard monitoring on Chikhacheva ridge. The expedition was organized from 4th to 14th of September, 2020 in Altai Republic. WWF experts, scientists of Altaisky Nature Reserve and Argali regional NGO, volonteers of the only in Russia expedition “Tracking snow leopards” were the participants of the expedition.

Scientists and volonteers checked the cameras set in May and June, 2020. Cameras captured eight snow leopards on the Russian side of the ridge. At the same time on the Mongolian side of the ridge Mongolian colleagues of WWF-Mongolia also set the cameras on the other side of the ridge that lies along Russian-Mongolian border. Simultaneous monitoring of the migratory animals helps prevent double-counting of the same individuals. By the end of 2020 the experts will obtain all data and clear out the number of the snow leopards on the ridge. Expedition was implemented with support of NEASPEC (North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation).

Playing cubs captured on camera
Expedition participants
Guta female snow leopard
Khorgai, he is almost years old.
Khorgai, he is almost years old.
Expedition to Chikhacheva ridge
(c) WWF
"Preliminary examination of camera-traps’ images prove: eight snow leopards inhabit the middle and southern parts of Chikhacheva ridge. Among them is Khorgai, the oldest snow leopard of Altai. We’ve been observing Khorgai since 2011. Cameras also captured Guta, the female snow leopard with three cubs. Presumably, two of them are males and one is a female. Guta has been registered since 2021, she at least had three litters. We captured a young three-year-old male snow leopard and named him Ine-1, he belongs to the litter of Inegale female we captured last year", says Sergey Spitsyn, WWF expert, scientist of Altaisky nature reserve.

Guta female

Participants examined 35 camera traps set in 18 spots. Almost all are of Chikhacheva ridge is located in the five-kilometers-long border zone of Russia and Mongolia. WWF express gratitude to the Border Service of Altai Republic for assistance and support of scientific research.

The cub of Inegale female, young snow leopard

Snow leopard monitoring in the transboundary area of Russian and Mongolia supported by NEASPEC (North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation) will be implemented on Eastern Sayan ridge and in Mongolia.

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Senior Project сoordinator