News & Events

News & Events

Stay up to date on what’s happening in Altai and at The Altai Project.

Mergen bundled up and ready to ride out

Sergei’s report and photos from the field

January 14th, 2015

Sergei Spitsyn and his team returned from a field expedition with new snow leopard evidence, incredible photos, and the successful removal of poachers’ snares.

On Our Mind

January 6th, 2015

We at The Altai Project remain deeply concerned about potentially irreversible damage to sacred lands and complex ecosystems.

A visit with an Altaian artisan

December 1st, 2014

35+ artisans have come together in the village of Kupchegen to form a cooperative venture

Highlights from Jennifer’s Trip to Altai

October 29th, 2014

Each time I travel to Altai, the trips combine field work and office meetings, and I try to meet as many people as possible to gain new perspectives. This year was no exception.

A Conversation with Danil Mamyev

October 29th, 2014

This year The Altai Project has had the pleasure to spend time more time than usual with our partner, Danil Mamyev. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his work.

Why Keep Altai in the Spotlight?

October 3rd, 2014

Altai is a biological and ecological gold mine but also has deep cultural roots that sets it apart from other parts of the world. One way to think about why Altai is important is that its landscape is ecologically on par with the Amazonian rainforest, Antarctica, and other large unique ecosystems.

Community-Led Big Cat Protection – Thank You, Disney!

October 3rd, 2014

Thanks to Senior Researcher at Altaisky State Nature Reserve Sergei Spitsyn’s efforts to stop poaching and assess the population, we estimate the population has grown to 5-8 cats – a tremendous improvement!

A Note from Jennifer Castner

August 22nd, 2014

Many of you are aware of the conflict in Ukraine, Russia’s role in that conflict, and Russia’s complicated image on the global commons. You may also know that President Putin and his government are continuing to actively limit freedom of the media, freedom of association, free speech, civil rights, and undermine previously effective environmental and […]

A Conversation with Don Weeden, Executive Director of the Weeden Foundation

August 21st, 2014

How did you first learn about The Altai Project? I inherited The Altai Project when I came on as Executive Director of the Weeden Foundation 12 years ago. I knew virtually nothing about Altai at that time. Upon educating myself, I was impressed with the potential for landscape-scale conservation in Altai and the availability of […]

Altai argali sheep skulls (photo by J. Gibbs)

UPDATE: Balancing Conservation and Hunting in Altai

July 10th, 2014

Russian Ministry of Natural Resources considers allowing trophy-hunting for Altai argali. In response, Altai Republic considers a ban on all sport-hunting in Altai for 2-3 years.

Russian Ministry of Natural Resources Wants to Delist Argali Sheep and Allow Trophy-hunting

July 8th, 2014

Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources will consider a highly controversial proposal to delist the Altai argali mountain sheep from Red Book protection and specifically permit trophy-hunting.

From Poacher to Protector

June 10th, 2014

In 2010, Sergei Spitsyn, director of Arkhar NGO and a senior scientist at Altaisky State Nature Reserve, pinpointed the locations of two snow leopards in the Argut River basin via sign survey and camera-trapping. In 2013, with Sergei’s leadership and expertise, The Altai Project began a radical initiative to identify and engage poachers in snow […]

Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin features Jennifer Castner

March 19th, 2014

Read the article featuring our work at the link below.

Not Just Any Kittens!

December 11th, 2013

Did somebody say kittens? Snow leopard kittens? Incredible new photos!

Sponsor a Snow Leopard

November 13th, 2013

Learn more about the launch of our new Sponsor a Snow Leopard program!

Wild Altai Expedition 2013

July 19th, 2013

A sampling of images taken during our 2013 Wild Altai Expedition

First photograph of a rare snow leopard in Altai Republic, Russia

July 19th, 2013

Learn about a live snow leopard sighting during the 2013 Wild Altai Expedition.

Ukok Pipeline Update: One step forward for Ukok, one step back for sacred sites

May 30th, 2013

In May 2013, Gazprom tabled plans to build the Altai gas pipeline through 2015. At the same time, Altai Republic overturned an earlier decree protecting sacred sites.

Update on Mongol the snow leopard

April 16th, 2013

Last heard about on this website in March 2011, Mongol is in the news once again. He was captured in March 2013 in Sayano-Shushensky Nature Reserve to receive a new satellite-tracking collar and to undergo a veterinary exam and have samples collected.

First video footage of Altai snow leopards

December 5th, 2012

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 […]

Prevent Poaching Today – Donate!

December 4th, 2012

Make a tax-deductible gift to keep poachers out of snow leopard habitat. We urgently need your support for patrols this winter.

New Ak-Cholushpa Nature Park gets a quick start

October 29th, 2012

Newly-formed Ak-Cholushpa Nature Park on the southern shores of Lake Teletskoye has received a start-up grant from the UNDP’s Altai Sayan climate change program.

Visiting Altai: Land of the Snow Leopard

September 22nd, 2012

“Land of the Snow Leopard” describes a tourist travel route with waypoints in the Argut River valley and along the Sailyugem Ridge in Altai Republic, Mongun-Taiga Mountain and Tsagan-Shibetu Ridge in Tyva Republic, and snow leopard and argali habitat in Mongolian Altai. There are opportunities for wildlife viewing, diverse recreation, car camping, and cultural activities […]

Altai Republic officials approve pipeline construction despite legal questions

September 21st, 2012

Altai Republic takes several steps to push the Altai pipeline project ahead despite the absence of a signed agreement between Russia and China and many questions concerning the legality of these moves. Click to read more of this update.

Pipeline Update: UNESCO leaves Altai with concerns

June 8th, 2012

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee sent a delegation to Altai Republic to express its concern about the Altai Gas Pipeline. Although Russia and China are still negotiating to set the price of the pipeline’s natural gas, the Save Ukok Coalition remains deeply concerned about this environmentally dangerous and economically unjustified project.

Biologists from the US and Spain Count Sheep in Altai

December 23rd, 2011

In August 2011, The Altai Project sent a team of two wildlife ecologists and three graduate students from the US to Altai to join an international survey of argali mountain sheep.

Snow Leopards caught on camera on Altai Republic’s Chikhacheva Ridge

November 29th, 2011

Participants in an expedition sponsored jointly by Arkhar and Altaisky State Biosphere Reserve have obtained the first images of snow leopard and manul (Pallas) cat on the Russian side of Altai Republic’s Chikhacheva Ridge using camera traps.

Photo Travel Diary – Altai Sept-Oct 2011

October 28th, 2011

Travel along with Jennifer to a beautiful autumn in Altai, where she attended Sosnovka (an important strategy meeting for Siberian and Far Eastern activists), visited the Karakol Valley and climbed to Uch Enmek’s final peak on horseback, and attended meeting while enjoying Gorno-Altaisk and Barnaul culture and scenery.

Altai Protected Areas News

October 27th, 2011

Here is the latest news on protected areas in Altai Republic – gathered during an October visit to the area. Although they face many ongoing challenges, Altai Republic’s protected areas cover an impressive 23%+ of its total territory.

September 2011 Pipeline Update

September 24th, 2011

Local sources report on the alarming work being done by Gazprom along the proposed pipeline’s route, all taking place without a signed agreement between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation.

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