Scientists will assess the state of the argali population

Scientists will assess the state of the argali population

Source: Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation
Scientists from Russia and Mongolia will simultaneously calculate the number of argali (mountain sheep) in the cross-border zone of the two countries and assess the state of the population. The registration of animals will be carried out until November 15 in the Republics of Tyva, Altai and the border areas of Mongolia. This was reported by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia on its website.

"In Russia, the largest herds of argali live along the border with Mongolia, in the Altai Republic, a grouping of argali numbering about a hundred individuals is noted in the neighboring Republic of Tyva. Three of the two cluster sites of the Sailugem National Park "Ulandryk" and "Sailugem" preserve argali in Altai, but a significant number of Altai mountain sheep also live outside the national park. That is why we are initiating population accounting throughout the district, and not only within the boundaries of the national Park, and we also invite Tuvan colleagues of the Ubsunur Basin Reserve," said Denis Gulyaev, deputy director of the Sailugem National Park, quoted by the ministry.

According to him, argali is a migratory species, in summer mountain sheep graze in Russia, and in winter they cross the border and go to the snow–free areas of Mongolia, where it is easier to feed.

"There is a single "herd" of Altai mountain sheep grazing in the cross-border zone of Russia and Mongolia. Therefore, we have been working together with Mongolia's nature conservationists for many years," Gulyaev said.

This year, employees of the Directorate of Specially Protected Natural Territories of the Mongolian Altai and the Uvs-Nuur Reserve, representatives of the Sailugem National Park, the Altai Reserve, the Ubsunur Basin Reserve, volunteers of the volunteer expedition "In the Footsteps of the Snow Leopard" will participate in the accounting of argali.

"Specialists start expeditions in parallel on both sides of the border and keep in touch to avoid double counting, which may show too optimistic and incorrect figures, which will affect environmental plans," the report says.

The results of the accounting will be announced in December.

As noted in the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, at the end of last year, the head of the department approved the strategy for the conservation of the Altai mountain sheep - the main national document that defines the goals and ways of preserving the world's largest argali in the country. Specialists face such tasks as preserving modern stable groupings of the species and providing conditions for their unhindered migration between Russia and Mongolia, taking into account the growing anthropogenic load in the habitats of mountain sheep.

"The strategy is a general action plan of interested departments and organizations, the purpose of which is to protect Argali. Further, it is important to develop specific plans in the regions of the species' habitat, the key of which is the Altai Republic. It is here, in the Kosh-Agach district, that the main core of the Altai mountain sheep's habitat in Russia is located," said Denis Malikov, director of the Sailugem National Park.
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