Maxim Koshkin, Askat Mukabaev + three local guides (Azamat, Janat and Shamil) are back from their 645 km camera-trapping trip and this is what they found.
Note that this is just what they found on the ground. The SD cards they brought back still need to be analysed and we will update everyone when we’ve done that.
The approach to the camera traps was conducted using horses, starting from the road running along the Western Karakol river. During the 3-4 hour ascent they observed two small groups of ibex (12 +13) moving west, including at least four male ibex. They also saw two bearded vultures, one Himalayan griffon vulture, two long-legged buzzards, one golden eagle, four ravens and one common snipe over the two days they spent in the area.
They reset and moved existing camera traps, changed SD cards and batteries.
They found no signs of snow leopard activity.
Here the team found possible snow leopard sign of activity at two of the three locations they visited (two scats and a scrape) and performed camera trap maintenance.
The team installed two camera traps at new locations along a major ridge line and possible snow leopard movement corridor, finding possible signs of activity, including a track and an old scat.
This site may be visited by snow leopards during a hunt as it is frequented by ibex according to local information. The team performed an SD card / battery swap, but found no sign of snow leopard activity.
We’ll be back with information about what’s on the SD cards and the 2019/2020 report with the results of last year’s long citizen science expedition and the results of this year’s short community expedition will be out soon too. Watch this space.
Thank you to our community camera trappers and the Ilbirs Foundation for organising the community expedition and to our donors for making it possible.