At least 20 Red Snow leopards live in Tunkinsky Oka and regions of Buryatia, expeditions to clarify the number of predators in these areas will continue until April, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday, the expedition leader, associate professor of applied ecology and tourism department of hunting IrGSKHA, Ph.D., director of the Center study the snow leopard, Dmitry Medvedev.
Research ranges Tunkinskie Loaches and Munch-Sardyk in Buryatia started this winter. Experts of the Center for Snow Leopard supported by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia intend to thousands of square kilometers, and find out exactly where inhabits ounce. Eastern Sayan, which includes Tunkinskie Loaches, scientists call a kind of "white spot" on the map of researchers in finding and keeping a snow leopard. To date, about a leopard, found in the Eastern Sayan Mountains, ecologists know very little. In this study go a long time, but this area is so vast that it takes a lot of careful study years.
Counting and traps
Tunkinskie Pinnacles area and mountain site Munch-Sardyk almost 3.5 thousand square kilometers. The first expedition travel experts surveyed approximately 150 square kilometers. In this work is complicated by difficult access areas located in the mountains and severe frosts.
"In the last trip, we found only traces of old snow leopard, but it is linked to the adverse weather conditions, in particular, when all traces blew literally within hours. Place here even human shoes leaves fingerprints. Nevertheless, according to our previous estimates, Tunkinskie loaches live at least nine of the predators, and at least two — on the ridge-Sardyk Munch, who serves as a migration corridor between Buryatia and Mongolia …. We think that, in general Tunkinsky Oka regions of Buryatia and no less than 20 of these rare animals. total in the Eastern Sayan Mountains, including Tuva and Tofalaria (Irkutsk region — ed.) much more, "- said the source.
Earlier, another research participant, Dmitry Bekhterev agency reported that the estimated number of snow leopards in the East Sayan Mountains are estimated at 50 individuals. According to Medvedev, the most active search for the snow leopard in the East Sayan Mountains are now exactly in Buryatia. Do not fail in Tofalaria and Transbaikalia, where the snow leopard was found in 2000, the year.
"At present, the field studies in Buryatia we installed 11 camera traps, nine of them operate in video mode. At last expedition we have four entries featuring snow leopards. On the most active places where, we believe, are the transitions of the snow leopard we add in the near future for another five camera traps, three of which will record video, "- he added.
It is assumed that the first stage of the search and study of the Buryat ounce, which allocates money for WWF Russia, to be completed by April.
Scientists estimate that in Tunkinskie Goltz poaching — the main threat to the snow leopard. This involves both the direct pursuit of the predator, and the indirect (loop-traps installed on musk deer and snow leopard prey tailwind during poaching of mountain goats).
"Loop illegal fishing musk even more dangerous direct persecution of the snow leopard, since spread widely, many loops are poaching unwithdrawn or simply lost, which leads to the accumulation of the potential danger. Come across leopards and hinges installed on mountain goats. Recent mounted directly on solonetz and transitions . however loop fishing musk incomparably larger in scale and, therefore, dangerous to the snow leopard as a whole. latest expedition we made about 15 such loops "- said the director of the center.
He believes that Tunkinsky National Park is not yet able to establish their own well controlled territory snow leopard habitat, in doing so, they need help. Specialists intend to recommend the creation of a special unit in Buryatia on the Protection of the snow leopard and prey that serve as his main source of food.
Snow leopard (ounce) is a rare, small 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 experts WWF, is not more than 80-100 individuals.