Our partner and snow leopard expert Sergei Spitsyn recently provided us with the first ever video footage of a snow leopard on Chikhachev Ridge in southeastern Altai Republic.
Video footage of snow leopards is important not only to provide clear evidence of which snow leopards are visiting and how they behave, but it also allows scientists to assess the duration of their visit, exact activity, condition of the cat, and other details.
It is believed that Chikhachev Ridge is currently home to the largest stable population of snow leopards in Altai Republic. Researchers have been able to collect regular evidence, including tracking their scent markings, scrapes, and scat, as well as the population structure of the population. There are an estimated 30-40 snow leopards in Altai, down from an estimated peak population of 80.
Recently, camera traps collected evidence of a female snow leopard and her two cubs on Chikhachev Ridge – excellent evidence of a population that is successfully reproducing.
The Altai Project provides financial support and technical and logistical expertise to support snow leopard science, conservation, and legal enforcement patrols against poacher predation.