News & Events

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

Eastern imperial eagle (photo by I. Karyakin)

Wind power and raptors

The connection between wind power and raptors is surprisingly complex. Wind power generation stations, or “farms”, offer renewable, low-pollution energy and are an important tool for combating the climate crisis.  However, these wind farms have a number of environmental consequences, including killing an estimated 681,000 birds/year in the United States alone in 2021. Given the…

part of Old Chuisky Tract

Chuisky Tract – Altai’s Path of Ancestors

Every visitor to Altai Republic travels this storied road, a piece of the region’s cultural heritage. Largely a 2-lane highway, Chuisky Tract stretches 963 km (598 miles) from Novosibirsk to Russia’s border with Mongolia, snaking across Altai Krai and Altai Republic and on into Mongolia. In 2019 the Russian edition of “National Geographic Traveler” included…

Two snow leopard kittens tumbling playfully on a rocky slope

Snow Leopard conservation in Russia: a timeline

The Altai Project has invested more than $210,000 in snow leopard conservation in Russia to date (largely 2010-2015, but continuing today). We pooled expertise with other international institutions involved in protecting this big cat. To expand on the saying “many hands make light work,” many hands also strengthen the work by contributing funds, scientific and…

Snow Leopard Conservation

The Snow leopard is endangered across its entire range in Central Asia, including in Russia. Snow leopard conservation and science are important tools in saving the species.

New! Siberia-US environmental cooperation through journalism

Exciting news! The Altai Project is a member of a new, three-way partnership formed to share environmental justice and indigenous rights journalism with American and Russian readers and thus improve understanding of cross-cutting issues between the United States and Russia in these areas.  The partnership also involves California-based Earth Island Journal and the Vladivostok, Russia-based…

Happy 150th birthday to Grigory Choros-Gurkin!

For every Picasso and Rembrandt, there are many more lesser-known artists; this is the case with Grigoriy Choros-Gurkin (1870-1937). He is one of Altai’s greatest artists and most important cultural figures.  The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of Choros-Gurkin’s birth and an ideal time to draw attention to the man and his work. Regarded…

Multiple glacier tongues leading up to craggy mountain peaks. A small brilliant turquoise lake is visible.

Conservation of the sacred Ukok Plateau

Ukok is unlike any other place in the world…pristine, magical, and spectacular.

Rock art depicting ungulates and humans in Mongolian Altai, near the Russian border

Altai Petroglyph Complexes in Mongolia and Russia

Rock art is found widely across Greater Altai. Bronze and Iron Age petroglyphs depict animals, people, and culture. The sites are fragile and in need of protection.

Traditionally-dressed person doing ceremony in front of ceremonial dyalama ribbons in Altai Republic

Dyalama ribbon tying as a spiritual practice

Description of the practice of dyalama – tying ribbons as a spiritual practice in Greater Altai

Foreground shaman performing ceremony among a group of people in Altai, Russia

Cultural practices in Altai

This page introduces important concepts and traditions that are specific to Greater Altai.

Parts of the horse diagram in Altaian language

Altaian Language

Altaian, divided into North Altaian and South Altaian is a closely-related group of Turkic languages. This article focuses on the language as spoken in Russia’s Altai Republic.

Petroglyphs in Mongolian Altai showing riders on horseback

VIDEO – Highlands of Mongolian Altai – Future UNESCO World Heritage Site?

This 15-minute English-language video was prepared by our partners at the Foundation for the Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage. The video shows the importance of the natural and cultural heritage of this proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Mongolia.

Camel nomads walking past in Mongolian Altai

Preserving Altai Cultural & Natural Heritage

Read about our recent initiative to protect the cultural and natural heritage of Greater Altai

Immature Steppe eagle flying over steppe grassland. Photo by Igor Karyakin.

Covid-19 news in Altai

The COVID-19 pandemic is a challenging and uncertain time for humans around the globe. We are seeing the ripples of tremendous and complex impacts and changes in our homes, our communities, and around the world. The same is true in the conservation world.

Min the Steppe eagle soaring. Photo by Nirav Bhat

When an eagle runs up roaming charges

Learn about Min the Steppe eagle who ran up a huge roaming bill for Russian researchers.

Steppe eagle with GPS tracker on its back

Altaian Raptors in Action

Here are some images of Altai’s many different raptor species and a few other special appearances.

Three people standing in a row looking at the same distant thing with their binoculars. They are in an arid mountain valley

Unexpected success

2018 did not go as expected. Given global politics, we had anticipated a very difficult year; instead we’ve had one of our most successful years to date.

Large solar array in the arid Chuiskaya Steppe in Altai Republic

Renewables in Altai, a look back

Altai Republic is the only Russian region where ALL locally produced energy is produced from renewable sources!

We have a new look!

    The Altai Project is thrilled to share a few pieces of exciting news! In honor of our 20th anniversary, we are pleased to reveal our new logo. For 20 years The Altai Project has consistently focused on preserving the indigenous culture, wildlife, and environment of this beautiful region. Our new logo represents that…

Snow leopard making a scrape with its hind legs at a marking site

Fall 2017 Updates

Earlier this summer, researchers obtained camera-trap photos of a mother with three adolescent kittens at her side traversing a hillside and strengthened their knowledge of 25+ individual cats in Altai Republic! 

Altai argali sheep skulls (photo by J. Gibbs)

Altaigate. The Final Chapter. (Novaya Gazeta article) Altaigate. The Final Chapter By Elena Racheva 16 Feb 2017 A helicopter carrying Anatoly Bannykh, well-known organizer of hunting trips for wealthy government officials, has crashed into Lake Teletskoye. This is his second catastrophe. The first cost Bannykh the vice-premier’s seat. Today’s crash, it seems, will have cost much more. The Ministry of Emergency Affairs…

Rocky meadow near a large glacial bowl on an Altai mountaintop

What is new with The Altai Project?

An update on The Altai Project and conservation in Altai.

Ornithologist Igor Karyakin, perched alongside a nest of Eastern imperial eagles. Photo by E. Nikolenko.

Campaign updates for 2015

We had an introspective summer and early fall, contemplating events in Russia and their implications for the future. We have some big news on that later this month, but first let’s catch up on recent goings on in Altai.

Snow leopard near a large rock on snowy day

New Snow Leopard Video Footage!

Sergei Spitsyn just sent a report from the field; he’s been working on Chikhacheva Ridge for the last 10 days, checking camera traps, deploying new ones, seeing what the latest snow leopard going ons there are. Good news! Adult male Khorgai visited numerous camera traps, and female Guta not only reappeared after a lengthy absence,…

Jennifer Castner describes The Altai Project

Watch a short video of Jennifer Caster describing the work of The Altai Project.

On Our Mind in May

We all love Altai dearly, and this is why…

Morning at camp in a grassy valley. A woman walks through a group of three tents

On Our Mind in April

According to Altai Republic government sources, tourism is predicted to increase by 10-12% this year over last year in the region.

Shaman in the rearground sprinkles milk into the fire in the foreground

An Important Film and Message

Our friends at Sacred Land Film Project, another Earth Island Institute project, are thrilled to announce the broadcast of this award-winning 4-film series.

Warmly dressed man looking through binoculars over a snow-covered forested river valley

Reforming Poachers

This past February, several teams totaling 25 trackers, rangers, and experts documented that these cats, one of Russia’s most endangered species, are still roaming the area.

On Our Mind in March

Native Americans share genetic markers linking them directly back to ancient peoples who lived in the greater Altai region 20,000-25,000 years ago.

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