Thursday, Mar 23 2017
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Krasnoyarsk… is the best and most beautiful of all Siberian cities, with its smoked-coloured and dreamy mountains'
A.P. Chekhov, 1890

More images of rare big cat captured by hidden cameras

By Anna Liesowska
25 June 2015

Traps record snow leopardess and cubs as experts work with border guards to help protect species.

Photos and video footage were recorded of the snow leopard in its natural habitat during daylight, helping to give experts more of an understanding about their daily habits. Picture: Sergei Spitsin

Camera traps have captured more images of one of the world’s rarest big cats out in the open in the Altai Mountains.

Photos and video footage were recorded of the snow leopard in its natural habitat during daylight, helping to give experts more of an understanding about their daily habits.

In a particularly poignant moment, it was discovered that one of the cats spotted over the years with cubs had returned to the area once more with another litter.

Leopardess Guta has previously been seen at the Chikhacheva Ridge, on the border between the Altai Republic and Tuva, with cubs in 2012 and 2013.

She is easily recognisable as a result of one characteristic feature: the tip of her tail is white and bent, having been broken when she was young. Unlike the other leopards, it tends to drag behind her and leaves a trail in the snow.

Snow leopards


Snow leopards


Snow leopards

Guta is easily recognisable as a result of one characteristic feature: the tip of her tail is white and bent, having been broken when she was young. Pictures: Sergei Spitsin

The camera traps also caught footage of male leopard Khorgai, who rules the territory.

The snow leopard is in the endangered category on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with as little as 4,000 left in the world, of which only 2,500 may reproduce.

New images of the big cat are particularly welcome to conservationists, given that 2015 has been designated the International Year of the Snow Leopard, with a special global campaign to raise awareness of the animal’s plight.

Snow leopard


Snow leopard

The camera traps also caught footage of male leopard Khorgai, who rules the territory. Pictures: Sergei Spitsin 

Chikhacheva Ridge is located in the south-eastern part of the Republic of Altai on the borders of Mongolia, the Republic of Altai and Tuva Republic. Monitoring the cross-border grouping by camera trapping has been conducted there since the autumn of 2011.

In order for it to be successful, scientists have to liaise closely with border guards.

As well as checking the existing camera traps the experts also installed new ones, as part of a project funded and created by the Siberian Health Corporation in Novosibirsk.

Poachers


Poachers

'Some of the cameras we have installed covertly because of thefts and they sometimes record people and even armed people.' Pictures: Sergei Spitsin

Sergei Spitsin, senior fellow of the Altair Reserve, said that teamwork between the experts and border personnel is vital - and said that the guards are not always looking for animals.

He explained: 'Our goals for the protection of the natural area of the Altai are the same, but the scientific goals are a bit narrower than the goals of border guards.

Pallas cat


Pallas cat

Pallas cats were also spotted by the camera trap. Pictures: Sergei Spitsin

'We found out in the course of our work that there is one area where our interests may intersect in unexpected ways. I mean the data from the camera traps. We are mainly interested in pictures of snow leopards and other animals, but the border guards are interested in images of people, especially people with weapons.

Chikhacheva ringe

Chikhacheva Ridge is located in the south-eastern part of the Republic of Altai on the borders of Mongolia, the Republic of Altai and Tuva Republic. Picture: Sergei Spitsin

'Some of the cameras we have installed covertly because of thefts and they sometimes record people and even armed people. This information we pass on to the border service for further operational and preventive work.

'This time we started with a new type of test camera with a GSM-module. It allows guards to receive the photo of violators in real time, and with reference to an exact place. So it will be possible to respond promptly to an alarm signal received from the camera.'

Comments (3)

Beautiful pictures, thank you. But now I really wonder about the other cat you have captured on camera,- The Pallas Cat. It would be very interesting to know more about this special cat too. Are you planning to let us know more about it,- is it endangered too ? And what kind of cat IS THIS ??? :)
Guri-kristine mundal, norway
05/07/2015 19:33
1
1
Again thank you for your pictures.



I would like to visit Siberia sometime in the future.



God bless all of you.



Glenn Edgar Murrieta,ca
Glenn Edgar, Murrieta,ca usa
29/06/2015 05:14
16
0
Because of people like you we get to see places and animals that we would never get to see in our whole lives. Thank you so very much.
Marlene, Burbank,Calif.
27/06/2015 03:56
15
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


Features

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR62.27USD57.64GBP71.96Other...