WWF searches the best ways to reduce snow leopard-herders’ conflicts in Tyva Republic
Tyva Nature Park with WWF support will study and evaluate the results of the project to reduce snow leopard-herders’ conflicts implemented in Tyva Republic in 2018-2020 in the Bai-Taiginsky and Mongun-Taiginsky districts, where the most of conflicts occur.
In May, the rangers and scientists of Tyva Nature Park will have an expedition around the herding sites of Tyva that were included in the project to prevent snow leopard attacks on livestock. Inspectors will assess the effectiveness of the methods to protect the livestock: mesh-netting of the ventilation holes of the herding corrals, ultrasound-repellers, electric fences. The experts will study the occurrence of the snow leopard’s attacks in the project sites. Depending on the findings of the survey, WWF will revise the approach to snow leopard conservation and to apply new protection measures.
Before the field survey Tyva Natural Park received a gift from the WWF partner, the World Around You Foundation of Siberian Wellness Corporation – a popular off-road vehicle - UAZ car, equipped with a trunk and a strong winch. The UAZ car is the most widespread transport of nature conservationists in off-road conditions, which has proven its efficiency. UAZ can be easily repaired if broken, spare parts are easy to find and buy in Russia, maintenance of a Russian car is cheaper and more reliable. UAZ will help inspectors of the natural park to go around the most inaccessible corners of the high-mountainous pastures and snow leopards’ habitats.
On April 30, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Republic of Tyva hosted a press conference and presentation of the results of the WWF and the World Around You Foundation project to reduce the conflict between herders and the snow leopard. The participants were: Grigory Ondar, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Republic of Tyva, Larisa Buyantueva, Head of the World Around You Foundation, Eduard Dongak, Director of the Tyva Natural Park Russian State Budgetary Institution, Alexander Kuksin, Senior Researcher of Laboratory of Biodiversity and Geoecology of Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Candidate of Biological Sciences, expert on the study and conservation of snow leopards, Chaizu Kyrgys, General Director of ANO "Irbis Army", Ph.D., and head of the project in 2017-2019.
An environmental project to reduce conflicts between snow leopards and herders was launched in the Republic of Tuva in 2017. The initiative was taken by the Altai-Sayan Representative Office of WWF in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Tuva with the support of the World Around You Foundation of Siberian Wellness Corporation. The partners in the region are: ANO "Irbis Army", "Tyva" natural park, "Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina" nature reserve.
In 2016, WWF, in partnership with nature conservation organizations of the Republic of Tuva, identified 18 shepherd camps (sites) for the implementation of a livestock conservation project in the Bai-Taiginsky and Mongun-Taiginsky districts, key snow leopard habitats in Tuva. These are the districts where the most of snow leopards’ attacks on livestock are registered. Cattle breeders confirm that several dozens of livestock could be harmed by snow leopard attacks. Shepherds meet snow leopard tracks on pastures, near camps or even closed corrals (shepherds).
In 2019, 18
shelters were repaired, all ventilation holes that are used by snow leopards to
get into the corrals, were covered with metal mesh, the shepherds were given
the ultrasonic and light scarers (repellers) of predators. In the Bai-Taiginsky
kozhuun on open pastures two electric fences were installed to protect
livestock powered by solar panels.