Scientists Sayano-Shushenskaya Biosphere Reserve (Krasnoyarsk Territory, Western Sayan) plans in 2013 to put satellite collars on two snow leopard (ounce) to determine the migration routes of the rare cats, said the deputy director of the reserve for Science, one of the leading Russian experts on snow leopard Sergei languor.
According to him, the study of migration corridor snow leopards in the Sayan Mountains, the northernmost limit of the world's animal habitats, is now the number one problem, and all further strategy for the conservation of snow leopards depends on the data. The research will be conducted within the project of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS) "Wild Cats of South Siberia," which was launched in May this year and sold in the State Biosphere Reserve "Sayano-Shushenskaya," Nature Reserve "Khakassia" and State Federal Reserve "Pozar "(Khakassia).
On research funding in 2012-2013 allocated 5.5 million rubles. The project aims to study and preservation of three cat species: snow leopards, Pallas, stable residence is in the Western Sayan already confirmed, and lynx populations in recent years, which critically reduced.
Where does the leopard
According Istomova at the Sayano-Shushenskaya Reserve resides eight to nine ounce, identified by the camera traps. Dominant male pride is the famous Mongol — Russia's first animal, which as part of the study of snow leopards was wearing a satellite collar. But scientists say that during the rut in the reserve recorded strangers snow leopards, but where they come from and where it goes is unknown. The same problem with the youngsters of the pride of Mongolia — have gone nowhere settled and where grown kittens.
"Where do they go, it is not clear, we can only speculate, and you need to put it on the collar of the male, which comes during the rut, or a teenager who literally have to leave soon," — said languor.
According to him, only after the migration corridor will be studied animals, can take effective measures for the protection of the way, has saved so snow leopards from poachers.
"The beast can not go strictly by the reserve to reserve. It can go through by the general public hunting areas, and it is necessary to trace. Maybe even accompanied to some extent, in this period to strengthen the protection of these areas," — said specialist.
Without information on the migration corridor impractical and breeding of snow leopards in the Sayano-Shushenskaya reserve, and plans to create a nursery that scientists have.
"Imagine that we have duplicated the snow leopard, brought up — that they are kittens. Where are they available? We invested 5 million rubles in the education of this kitten, he found a suitable place to live, and where is the guarantee that it will not go away tomorrow? Sneezes he all our efforts, "- said the expert.
According Istomova, satellite collars scientists are going to put on snow leopards in 2013, during the rut, it is in late winter — early spring.
"No matter what company did not say how we were not criticized for the fact that we are withdrawing the (animal) in rut, they say they then do not bring offspring — all this nonsense. You must do it in a rut, because we need it one male that comes from afar, "- said languor.
To better understand the migration path leopards collared implement and goats (Siberian Ibex) — in the snow leopards prey.
"Vertical migration of goats is also not clear until now. Now they began to descend, and where they were three months earlier — is unclear. But find out, we'll know for sure: where the goat, there must be sought and the shepherd," — said languor.
The fate of the Mongol
Satellite collar, dressed in 2011 by the most famous Russian snow leopard — Mongolia, has not worked a couple of months, says Sergei languor. According to him, the collar was a quality one and a half years Mongol wears around his neck a useless device.
"The collar can now say, was of poor quality. Moreover, we were promised that the collar will fall off after a year, because it is made of a material subject to attack by the sun.'s Been more than two years, and camera traps capture the animal with a collar," — said the scientist .
He noted that the catch Mongol again to remove the collar, it is meaningless.
"It would be possible to catch it if it was put to him the prospect of another collar. But the Mongols we already know everything. Addition, it may not be promising in terms of reproduction," — said languor.
Doubts about the Mongol reproductive scientists have appeared in 2009, when the snow leopard in rut poaching was in the loop, and confirmed in 2011, when an animal in rut, withdrew from the pride to wear the collar.
"In 2009, Mongolia was a loop, and the situation took another male, then we have to pour three female kittens, all brought up. 2011 — during the rut we are caught Mongols, he is not involved in the rut, and the female again brings kittens' — explains the researcher.
According Istomova, a glimmer of hope that Mongolia can produce offspring still persists.
"We have this year a female was walking, she was no one interfered, Mongolia being disturbed, and we saw the photos, she walked as if in position. But the kittens have not yet registered. If we knew exactly what the Mongol fruitless , we would have caught it and gave the zoo. And its place definitely would have taken another male, who can actually raise population. But until the Mongol we can not raise your hand, "- he said.
Languor noted that during the capture of the Mongols were taken and sent to laboratories for analysis of RAS, including samples and seed. But while the results of these tests do not have the Siberian scientists.
According Istomova, the program RGS, Siberian scientists plan to gather as much information about the other little-known RED cat, living in the western Sayan — manul.
"Biological data of the animal until almost zero. There's only literary information," — he said.
Now scientists are considering the possibility to put on Pallas' collars, to determine the territory they inhabit, as manul tries to leave no trace and is secretive lifestyle.
"In him we will not put satellite collars, and just the radio collars. Advisable to wear a collar on an adult female and adult male. But it is the prospect of the coming years," — said the languor.
In contrast to the snow leopards, which can be recognized by their characteristic for each individual spots on the skin, identify manul impossible because of the thick one-color coat. As a possible way to identify scientists now consider chipping Pallas'.
"There are ideas to identify them with the chips as pets. Caught and attached to the scruff of the chip. Chipping also the cheapest way of tracking. Scanners can be installed next to the camera traps" — said the languor.
Snow leopard or snow leopard is a rare, small species. In the Red Book of the Russian snow leopard awarded the first category — "look, which is under threat of extinction at the limit of the range." The number of snow leopards in the Russian part of the area dramatically low. According to experts in 2002, it was 150-200 individuals. To date, according to preliminary estimates of scientists, the number dropped to three. The main reason — poaching.
According to the data of the 2008-2010 period, in the Sayano-Shushenskaya reserve inhabited only known population of the snow leopard in the Krasnoyarsk region. Its membership — only seven or eight individuals, and kept it solely because of strict reserve status. Closest to the Sayano-Shushenskaya steady snow leopard population is on the border of Russia and Mongolia in the southern part of the ridge and Shapshal Tsagan-Shibetu distance of 250-300 kilometers.
Manul — a rare predator of the steppes of Eurasia and polustepey, included in international and Russian Red Book. This wild cat has a status Near Threatened. According to scientists, the number of animals is reduced. In addition, it is threatened by poachers, there is a threat of disappearance of suitable habitat. In Russia, is the northernmost habitat of the animal, manul is found mainly in the mountain-steppe and desert-steppe landscapes of the south-east of the Altai Republic, the Republic of Tuva, Buryatia, and in the south-eastern part of the Trans-Baikal region.