Traps that save


Scientists create a unique roster of snow leopards living in the high mountains of Tuva and Krasnoyarsk Krai. In this they are assisted by a special camera traps.

To date, particularly acute problem of the coexistence of the local population of Tuva and snow leopards living in the common areas.

"Pets — easy prey for snow leopards. Predator can attack like a sheep, a goat, and the yak. Many locals know about the status of the rare snow leopard, but keep their herds — is the ability to provide for his family, so for many ounce — the usual predator , along with the wolf. During the attack on livestock herders (pastoralists) can hunt down and kill the beast " — According to the press-secretary of the Altai-Sayan branch of the World Wildlife Fund in Krasnoyarsk Tatiana Ivanitskaya.

Project to preserve the snow leopard population includes several directions.

"First of all, the fight against poaching. Operational We organize raids on the habitats of snow leopards. Engaged arrest violators. Thus, we try to help public entities involved for the protection of wildlife, combine their efforts. Another focus is the protection and preservation of natural areas of habitat of the snow leopard — the various nature reserves and natural parks. We also conduct educational work with the younger generation. tried to raise the prestige of the snow leopard in the eyes of children from rural villages, next to which there are snow leopard " — said Tatiana Ivanitskaya.

But most importantly — the opportunity to reconcile with pastoralists irbis: The fund will compensate herders affected by the snow leopard attacks on livestock.

"The significant monetary incentive would encourage herders to save the snow leopard next to the parking lot and not try to destroy it as harmful predator", — Ivanitskaya explained.

In order to distinguish snow leopards from other wild animals that can attack livestock herders Foundation provided special camera traps. Camera traps — a specialized camera or video camera, fitted with motion sensors. The camera is protected sealed housing having a camouflage paint, and inside there are powerful batteries, camera traps allow to operate for several months. It is equipped with infrared flash and is able to take photographs at night. Camera traps are usually installed in places of concentration of animals or on the main paths of movement.

"Experts camera traps will be checked once a month. Pictures will show whether there are leopards about settlements, or any other animals attacked a wild beast", — said a representative of the Fund.

When confirming the attacks on livestock is snow leopard, shepherd will be paid taken as a basis the amount of damages set by the state, said a representative of the Fund.

The first participants of the project are residents of mountainous Soumont Toolaylyg. Just Mongun-Taiga region of the republic set up 30 camera traps cost $ 100 each. Prior to that, according to the companion agency, the local population has already signed a voluntary agreement on operational reporting cases of depredation on livestock in open pastures.

In addition to identifying the snow leopard, the camera will allow scientists to get a lot of new information about the size, distribution and population structure of the rare predator. All frames will be included in a single database — a kind of card index snow leopards in Russia.

"In turn card file will launch a campaign sponsored by the" adoption "of the snow leopard, so that every ounce of his will" parents "can become a Trustee of the snow leopard as an individual, as well as a commercial organization. All project participants will receive a certificate" adoptive parent ", which will be spelled out exactly what animal they support. Part donations just go to compensation for damages herders, whose livestock was attacked by the snow leopard ", — said Tatiana Ivanitskaya.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, now a key group of snow leopards in the southwestern part of Tuva reaches about 20 individuals. The new project will allow everyone to know the snow leopard "in the face."

This program is implemented in the framework of the new project of the World Wildlife Fund for the Conservation of rare animals in Siberia.


By the way, the program for the conservation of snow leopards using camera traps already a year has been successfully implemented in the State Nature Biosphere Reserve Sayano-Shushenskaya (Krasnoyarsk Territory).

Reserve and its buffer zone — this is the only area where in the Krasnoyarsk region remained snow leopards. This group of snow leopards — the most northerly within the present range of the known stable groupings. About eight years the population has remained stable — about 8 -9 individuals.

"In the Sayano-Shushenskaya power reserve more advanced camera traps set with the video function. Through these videos, scientists were able to observe not only the behavior of the adults in the wild, but for kittens born at the reserve. These data are extremely important for a successful recovery and increase groups, "- said the representative of the Fund in Krasnoyarsk.

Protection of habitats of snow leopards in the Sayano-Shushenskaya reserve provide inspectors unique operational fusion of five neighboring protected areas — Brigade "Irbis". WWF is supporting the team, "Irbis" for several years, providing fuel, uniforms and field gear for regular raids on the reserve and surrounding area.


Another interesting program of the Foundation for the conservation of the snow leopard population affects the Altai Mountains, where many villages due to poor quality of life is thriving poaching.

"We’re trying to distract people in the region from illegal fishing and hunting. To do this, in 2011 the World Wildlife Fund and in conjunction with Citi Foundation launched the program of development of eco-tourism in the Altai", — said the spokeswoman.

As part of the fund has provided grants to local residents on the development of small businesses related to ecotourism — be it the production and sale of souvenirs, local food products, or organization places of tourist leisure.

"This year’s program for the development of ecotourism aimed at ensuring people work from remote villages of the Altai Mountains and the reduction of poaching in Altai, received micro-loans for the organization of the business", — Ivanitskaya said.

This year, the program allocated 150 thousand dollars.

"Identified more than a dozen winners in the program. Koksinsky in Ust-most area of applications from local residents have been submitted for a micro-loan for the construction and arrangement of" green "buildings and tourist sites, local products with a view to the implementation of the tourists, the purchase of horses for popular among the guests of the Altai horse tours. Each of the twenty submitted to the regional call for proposals was evaluated on fourteen criteria, including relevance of the project, cost efficiency and environmental significance, qualifications and image of the applicant’s compliance with the priorities of the program ", — told Tatiana Ivanitskaya.

The evaluation, added companion, the highest score received six projects, which were recognized as winners of the competition. Microloans will encourage the villages Tyungur Kucherla and several "green" buildings (small camp sites). In the nature park Beluga will be a new parking lot for tourists, but in the village Katanda — ethno-ecological museum where local artisans can sell souvenirs made with his own hands.

"The growth of in
come from private business in the gentle nature of entrepreneurship should be the key to reducing the illegal extraction of plants and animals for their own consumption and for sale"
, — Ivanitskaya noted.

Snow Leopard, or as otherwise it’s also called snow leopard — a carnivorous mammal of the cat family. Snow leopard has a slim, long, lithe body, relatively short legs, small head and a very long tail. The length of the body with the head of 103-130 cm, length of tail 90-105 cm snow leopard weighs up to 55 kg. Externally, the snow leopard resembles the leopard. The basic coat color light smoky-gray with a ring-shaped solid and dark spots.

In 2000, the snow leopard was listed as endangered as a species "endangered." Hunting is prohibited.

Ounce belongs to a poorly studied species. Its habitat in Russia is 2-3% of the area of the modern world, as well as a number about 2% of the total number of species. Snow leopard habitat include parts of the territories of 13 countries: Afghanistan, Burma, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In Russia, the snow leopard is found in the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Khakassia, Tuva and Altai Republic, in the mountains of Eastern Sayan.

Columnist Natalia Ponomareva

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