Employees Altai biosphere reserve for the first time in 35 years, found and photographed a Red herd reindeer subspecies, considered extinct in these parts, told RIA Novosti director Igor Reserve Kalmykov.
Altai-Sayan populations of forest reindeer subspecies is listed in the Red Book of Russia. The total number of animals in the Altai-Sayan ecoregion, according to scientists, is a little less than 600 individuals. In the Altai reserve an animal not seen since 1977. Scientists fear that this rare subspecies of deer disappeared in the area.
The most important discovery of the year
During aviaosmotra the reserve by helicopter MI-8 experts in mid-October of this year saw the forest reindeer herd on the reserve.
"For the first time in many years, we have pictures of these animals. Guaranteed We can say that the forest reindeer survived in the Altai Reserve. Photos can say that this is a herd of 26 goals were clear and sex-age composition. Clearly seen vazhaka herd. We know and exact location, but in order to preserve this rare animal can not distribute them, "- said the source.
Scientists have big plans for the study of this rare animal, which now also little known.
"Now that we know that the forest reindeer we have, we have come take his studies and, of course, security. Despite our many achievements in the study of the snow leopard and argali, I think the recent events (detection of forest reindeer herds — Ed.), the best opening of the year for us. It really is a watershed event, "- said Kalmykov.
Experts consider, for example, which has a detrimental effect on these animals can change the climate.
"The warming can reduce their food supply (reindeer moss), may disappear snowfields (plots of land where the snow does not melt even in summer), which are necessary for the salvation of these animals by midges.
The long search
According to experts, before the reindeer in the Altai reserve inhabited. However, the last time a herd of 12 animals seen in the reserve in 1977.
In the late 90's of the last century, experts came across the following, which probably belonged to the forest reindeer, but this could not be confirmed. Did not produce results and joint expedition to search for the forest deer preserves neighboring in 2007, did not find even a trace.
"This summer, the patrol found the horns of the animal near the mountain lake Dzhulukol. All the signs say that the horns these animals dropped not long ago. Subsequently, however, the horns tied to the horse, and in a raid inspectors lost them. We did not have time to study them in detail, there are only photos. Because such evidence of animal habitats in our territory has been somewhat controversial. actually have crept very bad idea that these deer in the reservation no longer exists, "- says the director of the reserve.
According to Kalmykov, the vulnerability of this species is that the animal lives local groups away from each other. And the ways in which population can interact, are unknown.
"The next group of deer, as far as we know, live" Sayano-Shushenskoye "reserve and the reserve" Kuznetsk Alatau ", it is very far from us. The territory adjacent to the Altai reserve areas of Tuva and Khakassia, in recent decades, as far as we know, are also there was no information about the meeting with these animals. It increases our concerns about the disappearance of the forest deer in the Altai reserve, especially since here he is on the edge of their range, "- added Kalmykov.
Now the forest reindeer, according to the director, along with the Red snow leopard and argali (Altai mountain sheep) can claim to be one of the flanks of the republic.
According to scientists, the largest group of deer, numbering 255 individuals living in the park "Ergaki" (Krasnoyarsk Territory). Great importance for the conservation of reindeer, according to experts, are also the territory of reserves "Kuznetsk Alatau" and "Azas" where in 2011, environmentalists have counted 150 and 110 individuals, respectively. Woodland caribou is also home to the National Park "Shor", "Sayano-Shushenskoye" reserve and the reserve "Uvs Nuur Basin".