60 snow leopards live in Tuva population is stable

 About 40-60 species of snow leopard lives in the Republic of Tuva, the number of groups is stable, but the Red predator still threatened by poachers, told RIA Novosti on Thursday, Deputy Director of the Uvs Nuur Basin Reserve Alexander Kuksin.

It is south-west of Tuva, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is a priority area for the conservation of snow leopards in Russia. Key habitats of snow leopards in Tuva — it ranges Chikhacheva, Tsagaan-Shibetu and Mongun Taiga (within Russia). These related to the Mongolian population groups of the snow leopard — the potential for backing up and restoring the species in the Altai Mountains, in the south of the Krasnoyarsk region and Khakassia, environmentalists say.

"Snow Leopard in Tuva is fairly common, it can be said that its habitats include all alpine ridges of the republic. My own rough estimate of the number of leopards in the region of 40 to 60 individuals. Used to be that in Tuva at least 80-100 of these predators, however, recent studies have shown that the figure below. This is due to the fact that in some areas the situation is unstable groups. Overall, however, the situation in the region stabilizes predator "- told Kuksin.

Kuksin noted that the stabilization of the animals they have achieved through programs WWF Russia to preserve this predator. Thus, the camera traps were installed on snow leopard, and local residents are involved in programs to conserve it. They explain that the snow leopard as a symbol of the mountains of Tuva can be profitable, including in the development of ecological tourism.

In turn, the press secretary of the Altai-Sayan branch of WWF Russia Tatiana Ivanitskaya in a conversation with the agency said that, according to the fund, the number of snow leopards in Tuva even rose slightly. However, to make a clear conclusion, you need to carefully monitor for a few years.

Deputy director of the reserve added that the snow leopard in Tuva still has a negative impact anthropogenic influence, which in the future may affect the number of animals.

"In the south-west of Tuva's more to do with the shepherds. Lot of them in the habitat of the snow leopard, and here he often attacks the cattle, and the locals are taking revenge on him, resulting in a kind of harassment and cases of extraction of the beast. The southeast, the situation is different there is more developed poaching, but with the snow leopard is produced incidentally by hunters during the hunting of other animals, "- said the source.

Also, according to Kuksina man having an increasing negative impact on food supply and the snow leopard.

"In the main habitat of the snow leopard, the ridge-Tagan Shibetu An interregional highway, which connects Tuva and Altai. This is a factor of concern for the animals. Recently, we observed a sharp decline in the numbers of wild goat, the main object of hunting snow leopards. When his food supply reduced, it is increasingly attacking livestock, and can be killed by shepherds, "- said the deputy director.

At the same time, according to the agency, part of the area, where there is a predator, protected only gosinspetorami Reserve. For example, in Mongun Tuvan Taiga district committee of hunting and fishing is not yet able to allocate staff unit huntsman. Which is why, according to Kuksin, poaching in the area is growing.

"The authorities need to think about strengthening environmental management and organization of additional protected areas. Otherwise the position of the snow leopard in Tuva worse, and we can expect a reduction in their numbers," — said the source.

The snow leopard 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.

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