Female snow leopard with kittens may dwell in the valley of the Altai Argut

Scientists and environmentalists may have found traces of a Red female snow leopard with kittens Valley Argut in the Altai Republic, where the grouping of this rare predator was almost completely destroyed by poachers, told RIA Novosti researcher Altai reserve, leader of the expedition to monitor the snow leopard Sergei Spitsyn.

 Now environmentalists and scientists Altai with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have set out to identify the surviving remnants argutskoy groups and ensure effective protection of the territory in order to revive the population of the snow leopard in these areas, which are considered ideal for snow leopards. In January Altai reserve specialists and regional public organization "Arhar" supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia almost a month counted snow leopard filmed loop traps.

Important findings

"It is possible that at one point during our expedition, we met the next female snow leopard with two kittens, is also yet to be checked, but the probability of this is, will check further," — said Spitsyn.

According to experts, the potential group of snow leopards in the Argut can recover in 15-30 years. Winter in the beginning of last year, researchers found the first traces of the valley Argut predators, and in the spring were the first shots of camera traps, in which "caught" two snow leopard, get the names of Vita and Hook.

"The very good news is that the Vita and Hook alive. Their was a long time in the traps, and we did not know anything about them since last June. We were hoping for the best, but fear that they were poaching in the loop, we were. But last expedition showed that the animals all right. One of the chambers is generally turned out to be in the center section of the Hook, and his photographs have very much. the photographs, previously, we can say that there may have inhabited and third bars "- told Spitsyn.

He explained that in the valley Argut are three camera traps and one DVR, and experts will explore the vast array of the data, it is hundreds of photos and more than a dozen video clips depicting a snow leopard and other animals. In particular, the camera traps to Argut first went wild cat manul. Previously, there was no information that he lives in the area.

The difficulties of the expedition

According to the scientist, held expedition was very hard — experts could not get the horses, and because of the strong winds, snow and all roads grind and Argut they traveled on foot, carrying all the necessary equipment, equipment and supplies.

"Heavy snow and wind made it difficult to search and counting, and other marks of the animal, they are constantly peremetalo, visibility was very low. Also, now goes to the mountains a lot of avalanches, and it is also complicated our task," — said Spitsyn.

He added that in addition to monitoring, the experts looked for signs of poachers shot loop traps. All they had been in the mountains 20 days, and the expedition, according to experts — only a small part of a large work on the study and restoration of the snow leopard in the area.

According to him, received a unique snapshots — first results of a large collaboration of many people. Buy automatic camera equipment, to cover the costs of the expedition to help the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia, organizations such as the Snow Leopard network, Snow Leopard Conservancy and The Altay Project.

Snow leopard (ounce) is an endangered species. The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation and was awarded the first category — "look, which is under threat of extinction at the limit of the range." The total number of snow leopards in Russia, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia, is no more than 80-100 individuals, most of whom are concentrated in five key groups in the south of the Krasnoyarsk region, Tuva and Altai Mountains. In the Altai Mountains, according to WWF Russia, there are about 30 of these predators.

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