Scientists examined the habitats of the snow leopard and its tracks in the Sayano-Shushenskoye Nature Reserve

Scientists examined the habitats of the snow leopard and its tracks in the Sayano-Shushenskoye Nature Reserve

Source: R. Afanasyev,
A three-week expedition was completed in the Sayano-Shushensk Biosphere Reserve, during which specialists carried out snow leopard records. They examined the habitats of the snow leopard, recorded traces of its vital activity and checked camera traps. Scientific staff and state inspectors of the Joint Directorate of the Sayano-Shushensky Nature Reserve and the Shushensky Bor National Park participated in this work.

"Winter accounting traditionally provides a lot of information on the basis of which further field work can be optimized. The presence of snow allows you to determine the route paths of the snow leopards along the chain of tracks, to determine the marking points. All this also allows you to successfully place photo recorders and get valuable information that is necessary for the general characteristics of the hearth," the message on the directorate's website says.

The Sayano-Shushensky Nature Reserve is the northern border of the Russian and global snow leopard range. According to the specialists of the protected areas, the once undermined number of the snow leopard in this area of its habitat has now been restored — according to the latest data, 11 individuals live in the reserve, among which adult breeding cats and kittens.

Scientists have managed to obtain new images of snow leopards from photo recorders.

"The group is monitored year-round, camera traps are checked at least once every two months, and sometimes more often. This allows you to get up–to-date information about the relationship of individuals and promptly adjust the equipment scheme in order to get more information about the unique cat," the directorate quotes Roman Afanasyev, the responsible executor of monitoring work on the snow leopard.

Next week, the second expedition will start, during which the winter accounting of the snow leopard in the Sayano-Shushenskoye Reserve will be completed and an estimate of the number of the northernmost grouping of the species will be given.
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