An expedition for the conservation of snow leopards (ounce), supported by Evalar, has kicked off in Altai


Under the title "Let's Preserve Altai's Unique Nature Together," bloggers and journalists are embarking on a journey to the location of the international expedition to study the snow leopard.

Organized by Evalar in collaboration with "Komsomolskaya Pravda" journalists, the event aims to support scientific research conducted in Altai by "Sailyugemsky" National Park's staff and scientists from Mongolia.

As predators know no national borders, the snow leopard population, or as it also called Irbis population, is spread across the Altai-Sayan region, encompassing both Russia and Mongolia.

In these areas, the population of leopards face threats such as poaching, reduction in the population of mountain ungulates, who are the primary source of food for snow leopards, the other threat is a human activity in the region and other. The interconnectedness of nature is evident: a decrease in prey leads to leopards leaving inhabited areas, potentially resulting in conflicts with livestock, prompting shepherds to defend their herds.

The largest group of snow leopards is currently located in the Altai Republic, particularly in the Southern Altai, Kurai, Southern and Northern Chuisky, Sailyugem, and the Argut River basin. Conservation efforts in these areas have started to yield results.

As Denis Malikov, the director of the Sailyugem National Park, noted: "The snow leopard population in the Altai Republic is slowly recovering. The key to preserving the snow leopard in Altai today is the systematic protection of their habitats." In 2023, park specialists identified 39 snow leopards using camera traps, with a total of 143 surveillance cameras installed in the park.


Dr. Bariushaa Munkhtsog, President of the Snow Leopard Conservation Foundation in Mongolia, emphasized the importance of monitoring programs for tracking the movements and genetic exchange of the population of leopards. 

The "Let's Preserve Altai's Unique Nature Together" project aims to gather accurate information about the snow leopard population, develop measures for its conservation, regularly obtain data, and identify new habitats for these predators.

To achieve these goals, several tasks need to be undertaken. Firstly, determining the current habitats of snow leopards and tracking changes in their population. Secondly, assessing the density of areas where these predators are observed. Thirdly, evaluating the status of their prey base, including the population of Altai argali mountain sheep and Siberian ibex. Lastly, investigating the prevalence of threats such as poaching and livestock activities in these territories.

Through this scientific research, the expedition aims to identify known and new habitats of snow leopards and also conduct a census of mountain goats and sheep. This will provide insights into whether there is sufficient food for the predators. Engaging the local community in monitoring, data collection from camera traps, will help raise awareness about the importance of preserving the biodiversity of the Altai Mountains. The Russian and foreign expedition's participants will collaborate to formulate further measures for the protection of the snow leopard population. 

The network of camera traps and video cameras, integrated into a comprehensive system, will continue monitoring, ensuring the safety and functionality of the devices for years. This ongoing effort will provide accurate data on the population and composition of this rare cat in the Russian part of its habitat. 

Since 2021 Evalar initiated the program "Let's Preserve Altai's Unique Nature Together" and it is the second stage of Evalar's ecological program focused on conserving the unique biodiversity of the Altai region. The pharmaceutical company's headquartered is located in Altai region, where many types of plants grow and used for various preparations. It involves scientific research in the Sailyugem National Park and the preservation of the flora and fauna of this unique area.

The first stage focused on rare plants in the rich Altai region. One expedition studied conditions and territories where rare and medicinal plants grow - such as Rhodiola Rosea (known as the “Golden Root”), which stimulates the human central nervous system, and Rhodiola Cold (known as - “Red Brush”), which treats gynaecological diseases (read more about this here: https://www.kp.ru/putevoditel/spetsproekty/kak-spasayut-redkie-rasteniya)


The second stage involves studying the habitats and counting the numbers of Altai argali sheep and the Siberian mountain goat Ibex, which feed on these and other plants. The number of mountain ungulates changes from year to year, due to poachers and livestock which feeds on the same pastures. Evaluating threats from poaching and livestock is integral to the conservation program, as these ungulates serve as the prey base for snow leopards. After all, ibex and argali are crucial components of the snow leopard's diet. The program has expanded to an international level this year, with experts from both Russia and Mongolia participating in the expedition.



The results of the expedition, along with ongoing scientific programs supported by Evalar, can be followed on the websites and social media provided by the journalists from "Komsomolskaya Pravda" newspaper and Evalar main platforms, as well as the accounts of TV presenter Ekaterina Velichkina (https://t.me/velichkinaekaterina) and blogger Katarina Stabredova (https://vk.com/littlebusinkaa).


The Sailyugem National Park, established in 2010, is the first national park in the Altai region, located in the Kosh-Agach district on the border with Mongolia. The park area is 118 thousand hectares and it is protected. It aims to preserve and reproduce rare plants and animal species, such as the snow leopard and Altai argali. The park also offers various eco-tourism activities, such as hiking tours, horse riding and other; more information can be found on their website: https://sailugem.ru/