WWF’s patrolling programme in Altai helped to prevent the death of snow leopards
The great gifts in the coming year were good news about an “an old friend named Hook” and the first results of the project «Establishment of cooperation between environmental organizations and local community to restore grouping of the snow leopard in Argut river valley.» The project was launched with financial support of M-Video Company in the fall of 2014, and the first patrolling in the valley Argut held in December - one of the most dangerous «poaching» seasons. Experts checked previously installed photo-traps. One of them had pictures of snow leopard named Hook alive and wellbeing, marking its habitat. Except that good news specialists found fresh tracks of the irbis. At the potential paths of animal experts established three new camera-traps, purchased under the project. Within two weeks of the expedition team has overcome by foot more than 200 km in remote areas. On the third day members of the group found «fresh» snares installed for the musk deer. Totally during the patrolling period participants removed more than 20 snares.
'These snares are deadly threat not only to the musk deer. They can easily catch even young leopard. Therefore, for several years with the support of WWF we are cleaning the valley of Argut from this deadly iron. For two years we removed more than a thousand snares, and it’s very nice to note that we can found the new snares in this area rarer”, - said the head of anti-poaching brigades Sergey Spitsyn.
The patrolling were made by special anti-poaching team which includes representatives of the regional public organization (NGO) «Argali», the staff of the Altaiskiy and Katunskiy Nature Reserve, as well as the locals from the Argut’s area. Before summer season five more expeditions planed. Their main goal is to prevent the death of the snow leopard, remove snares and organise the irbis monitoring system using camera-traps.