Hunting for snow leopards: rare shots from a mountain expedition brought by Novosibirsk
Snow Leopard Day is celebrated all over the world. Only 65 Red Book cats in Russia are precisely recorded. Our fellow countrymen are actively fighting for the preservation of the population; in Novosibirsk, expeditions are organized for volunteers to help scientists establish camera traps in the mountains. Recently returned from the last trip, fresh shoots were full of surprises
The Red Book snow leopard named Khorgai fell into the camera trap lens for the first time in 2011. Since then, every new video with it has been a holiday for the participants of the expedition “Following the Snow Leopard”.
─ He is now 12 years old. Also saw a female Guta. She gave birth to kittens, apparently, on Russian territory, which also pleases us, ─ tells the expedition organizer Igor Pautov.
Another female with hounds came from the Mongolian side. The Chikhachev Ridge in Altai, where volunteers travel twice a year, is located on the border.
Snow leopards from Mongolia ─ and there are much more of them ─ feed the Russian group. If this territory is endangered, the leopards will not have the opportunity to be there, then the Russian group of snow leopards may be in danger of extinction.
There is a threat from the human side. Irbis fell into the trap of poachers. The problem can be solved only in one way: to take the territory under protection. Last summer, the Altai Reserve discussed the issue at a scientific council.
A working group was created and a unanimous decision was made: a protection zone should be created. But this process is not fast, there are many formalities, including bureaucratic ones.
If possible, this will be the main victory of all expeditions. But the goals do not end there. The brotherhood of the snow leopard, which over 4 years has entered dozens of volunteers from all over Russia, intends to engage in education.
A personal meeting with a leopard is a rarity, even for expedition old-timers. Usually an animal is seen only through the eyes of camera traps. However, ahead of the 10th trip.