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Dreaming of Russian snow leopards

Altai Mountains

Altai mountains snow leopard habitat in Russia. Photo Wikipedia

After a frantic few days of packing and organising I’m finally flying out tonight for Moscow and then on to the Altai mountains on the edge of civilisation in Russia’s south, on the border of Mongolia. Along with eight others from around the globe, I’ll be walking the mountains with Volodya, a Russian biologist, studying these beautiful rare cats. Scanning the horizons for cats and their prey species wild goats and sheep, scanning under my boots for snow leopard poo and pug marks.

The expedition data will help predict the remaining resident numbers of snow leopards here and form the basis of community education and conservation programs with the local Altai villagers and herders. They sound like tough but charming people and I’m looking forward to meeting some of them.

Our group gets to sleep in small tents, so hopefully the night subzero temperatures of the last week will disappear by the time I get there.

I’ll be well and truly out of blog range in the Altai so it will be end of July that I’ll publish my diary here. Wish us luck! Stay tuned!

Meanwhile there will still be other posts added while I’m away.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Jennifer Castner July 9, 2010, 12:01 am

    Have a great trip! I’m looking forward to exchanging impressions upon both of our returns.

  • Mireya September 21, 2010, 8:25 am

    I hope you find some snow leopards. I wish I could come. I’ve almost never seen a real live snow leopard, except the two times in the zoo but that’s all.

  • Julie Andras November 11, 2013, 3:02 pm

    12 countries picked up where Russia left off after abandoning the conservation program of the Snow Leopard.

    The act of abandoning the program shows just how disingenuous Russia was to begin with about the conservation of these cats.

    Its disgusting.

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