Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Photo proof of snow leopards in newly created refuge in Siberia
One of the camera-trapped images of Siberian snow leopard
Camera trap images have been taken of snow leopards in the newly created National Park of Sylyugem National Park in the Altai mountains of Siberia.
Aleksei Kuzhlekov, a national park researcher, reports that, "four pictures of snow leopard were taken at different times, probably of three or four individuals".
The Saylyugem National Park was created five years ago to protect wildlife in that region of Siberia, especially the snow leopard and argali mountain sheep, in an area totaling 118,380 hectares.
The creation of the reserve was much needed, because poachers had killed more than 10 snow leopards in the area in the 1990s alone, to sell their pelts and body parts on the black market for Chinese medicine.
The snow leopard is in the endangered category on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with as few as 4,000 left in the world, of which only 2,500 are likely to be breeding.
The head of the local conservation department, Igor Ivanitsky, adds: "We were able to place the cameras in the right place by painstakingly working out the movements routes of the cats.