WWF discovered a new snow leopard habitat near Mongolian border
WWF registered a new snow leopard habitat in Russia. Scientists now have reliable photo and video evidence of the presence of 5 new snow leopards on the South Chuisky Ridge. The South Chuya ridge had not been considered an important site for snow leopard survey before. The length of the ridge is more than 100 km. Sailugemsky national park’s scientists with WWF support have been conducting long-term monitoring in the eastern and central parts of the ridge but its western part has not been studied yet.
The local herders set camera traps at the beginning in January, 2021. The cameras caught five new snow leopards: a female with two grown-up kittens and two single individuals. Moreover, the female is likely to be the one that attacked the cattle of the local herder. The herder reported about the attack to the scientists of Sailugemsky national park this spring. Another snow leopard has been captured by cameras often so the scientists presume he is the dominant male in the area as he was so active lately and travelled long distances.
The female snow leopard with two cubs that is belived to kill cattle of the local herder
Since the beginning of the year, five volunteers of the project have already made exits in search of traces of the snow leopard's life: paw prints, scratches on trees, urine marks, camera trapping and removing poachers’ snares. Volunteers patrol hard-to-reach areas, where this winter the snow cover is very high, but there is no other way to get to the automatic cameras.
Read more about the project of WWF Russia to involve local residents into snow leopard conservation: https://wwf.ru/en/resources/news/altay/pyatnadtsat-snezhnykh-barsov-altaya-vozmut-pod-okhranu-mestnye-zhiteli/