For the first time, snow leopards in Russia’s Altai mountains have been photographed. The World Wildlife Fund – Russia, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, and WWF – Mongolia collaborated to place remote cameras in a mountainous area of Siberia at altitudes of 4,000 meters. The cameras snapped images of two snow leopards over a period of several days in October. More images of them are on the Moscow Times website.
The mountainous habitat running through both Russia and Mongolia, (Sayano-Shushensky nature reserve) is believed to be home to about fifteen snow leopards, and an important natural corridor they use to move in between the countries.
They are believed to live in thirteen countries, though they are elusive and live in areas humans can’t easily access. Russia, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Myanmar are those nations. Estimates of their total wild population range from 3,000 to 6,000. In Russia there may be less than 100 wild ones. According to one estimate there are about 700 living in zoos around the world.
“Researchers believe that the rocky snow leopard is the more precise name of the animal. Despite the fact that the animal lives in severe conditions of high mountains, it does not like snow. When the snow layer exceeds 30 centimeters, this is an unacceptable sphere of habitation for snow leopards,” said biologist Sergei Istomov. (Source: Voice of Russia)
Image Credit: WWF- Russia