The cameras captured photos of two snow leopards in October as they walked along a ridge in the Altai Mountains along the Russia-Mongolia border.
A research team found signs of the animals during a summer expedition. Cameras equipped with motion sensors captured the first images of the elusive predators. Sergei Spitsyn (Arkhar/Altaisky State Biosphere Reserve)
“To get a picture is really a big deal,” said Dr. James P. Gibbs, a conservation biologist with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, N.Y. “The signs that the species is in this region are definitive but a picture is irrefutable.”
The photos were taken between Oct. 26 and 30 at an altitude of about 4,000 meters at a location called Chikhachyova Ridge in the Altai Republic, a semiautonomous region in southern Russia. Gibbs said the animals are probably part of a larger population that extends into Mongolia.
Ten cameras were installed in the area as the result of evidence that was found when Gibbs and some colleagues made an expedition there this past summer. The main reason for the trip was to survey the population of Argali sheep, the world’s largest wild sheep species that is threatened by hunting and habitat loss. But the researchers did double duty, searching at the same time for evidence of snow leopards.
“Snow leopards leave clear signs that you see readily if you look for them,” Gibbs said. “You can find scat and places where they scratch trees with their claws. And you see their scrapes, circular depressions made in the gravel that are slightly discolored. They maintain these scent marks. If you see fresh ones, you know snow leopards are in the area.”The snow leopard population is threatened by poachers who hunt the animals for their distinctive spotted coats.
Gibbs said ESF supplied the high-tech cameras through a $20,000 grant from Panthera, a conservation organization that focuses on saving wild cats. In addition to the snow leopards, the cameras caught images of a rarely seen Pallas cat, also called a manul, a thick-furred feline about the size of a domestic cat.
The expedition that installed the cameras was sponsored jointly by Arkhar and Altaisky State Biosphere Reserve. Staff members from the reserve were accompanied by staff from Ubsunurskaya Basin Biosphere Reserve in Tyva Republic and Mongolian specialists from Silkkhemin Nuru National Park and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Mongolia.
In addition to aid from ESF and Panthera in supplying cameras, the expedition received support from the Snow Leopard Conservancy and WWF-Russia.
The cameras will track snow leopard movements on the ridge throughout the winter and help scientists evaluate the number of animals in the population.
Claire B. Dunn | Newswise Science News
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences