Photo and video monitoring can become an alternative winter route accounting
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia plans to develop a modern method of accounting animals in 2016, including avia monitoring and photo and video monitoring.
National Park «Leopard land» (Primorye) conducts accounting of predators using photographic and video monitoring systems. Deputy Director for Science of the National Park «Leopard land» Elena Salmanova informed about innovations in the system of accounting leopard at the plenary session of All-Russian meeting of the directors of national nature reserves and national parks on the problems and prospects of development of the system of protected areas. The event was held under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Russia Sergey Donskoy October 6, 2015 in Vladivostok.
Over the past 3 years with the help of camera traps all movements of leopards were recorded. As a result of observations of scientists the exact number of predators was determined first time,and also the boundaries of their dwelling, information about the their life and even the relationship between individual leopards.
«Employees of «Leopard land» know all animals in person and easily identify new ones, can trace their movements, any changes in predators appearance and life cycle. By using photo monitoring we can observe almost all leopards»- explained E. Salmanova.
The «Leopard land» website provides information about the park predators: the inhabitants of the protected area have the so-called leopard passport, which include a photo of the animal. Currently 41 of 57 «residents» of the National Park have passports.
E. Salmanova noted that the unique information is obtained with the help of new methods of observation. «In the National Park «Leopard land» there is no snow or very little in some years, and in this case it is not allowed to conduct research», - informed the representative of the National Park.
Photo monitoring method is a great alternative to winter route accounting. It allows not only to roughly determine the number of animals, but also to identify each of them. Thus, in contrast to the monitoring of the trail, photo monitoring is running almost all year round and allows you to capture a larger number of animals.
The new method of observation can be extended to other species of large wild felines in Russia - Amur tiger and snow leopard.
National Park «Leopard land» was created in 2012 for the protection of leopards. It is located on the south-west of Primorye and covers an area of 280 thousand hectares. According to the data of 2015, the park has 57 leopards that is 1.5 times higher quantity than before the establishment of the protected area.
The Amur leopard is one of the rarest big cats on the planet. The population in Russia in the early 2000s was around 30 individuals only. Currently there are about 70 individuals. In Russia these animals live only in the Primorsky region, and about 90% of these predators live in the National Park «Leopard land».
Several camera traps are also established in Polistovsky Reserve. Over the past year more than 10 animal species were photographed and filmed with their help, including the brown bear, moose, badger, raccoon dog, squirrel and other inhabitants of Polistovsky National Nature Reserve. Some materials from traps, photos and videos are presented on our website, on the Youtube channel and in social networks.
Information message of the press service of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia.