Scientists will count deer and ibexes

Staff of the nature reserve “Khakassky” set on a 35-days long scientific expedition on the territory of special nature reserve “Pozarym” – one of the Russia’s specially protected areas in Tashtypsk district, the Republic of Khakassia.  Special nature reserve has more than 253 thousand hectares forest area and includes mountain taiga pieces of nature reserve “Khakassky” and specially protected parts of the Altai Mountains and the Sayan Mountains.  

Special nature reserve “Pozarym” is a good example of cooperation between scientists, state authorities and non-governmental organizations. Development of special nature reserve management project and continuing scientific research on its territory is being made by Khakassia regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society, nature reserves “Khakassky” and “Sayano-Shushensky”, government of the Republic of Khakassia and national fund “Reserved Land”.

Scientific expeditions in the nature reserve to study rare species such as the snow leopard (Irbis), the Siberian ibex and the reindeer etc. are held annually. 

Scientist will study structure, level and distribution of the animals’ population across the nature reserve during winter. That includes census of the ibex group, inhabiting the nature reserve (scientist been watching after it for 5 years), carry out route surveys of the animals’ footprints on snow and test of the trails cameras. The studies will cover complete left bank of the River Karatosh in the midstream and the upstream, mountain narrow Kaylyuza, mountain pass Karatoshsky and surroundings of the Lake Karatosh, mountain passes Pogranichny and Kyzyl-oyuk, mountain narrow Suburduk and stow Peretkhem. These places have typical habitation conditions of the snow leopard and its main food source – the ibex.

50 automatic trail cameras will be tested and more than 500 km of foot, ski and snowmobile routes will be covered.

More than 50 24/7 trail cameras operating on the territory of special nature reserve have already made more than 100 thousand pictures. Analysis of this archive allows trailing biological and ecological specifications of the animals inhabiting the reserve.


Planned route is complicated by the fact that territory of “Pozarym” is a hard to reach place with mountain terrain with elevation difference about 1 km. Thus, there’s almost no snow on southern exposition and blowouts in bald peaks while northern narrows on the border of forest areas can have about 100-150 cm of snow. Moreover, there was relatively warm winter in December-January. This would slow down progress of the expedition because the river didn’t completely freeze and there’re hummocks and not frozen riverbed areas.

Scientists discovered new habitation areas of the ibex during previous expeditions. According the researchers, here ibexes take a pass to different stows and surrounding areas. Staff of the reserve is planning to determine number of hoofed animals and possibility of snow leopard presence in the area.

During previous expeditions scientist examined three areas where ibexes were constantly documented. According to this data, about 13 species of ibex inhabit the area of 10 square km around the Lake Pozarym.

Guest experts take part in the expedition together with research workers of the Khakassky Reserve. They are leading research worker of Sayano-Shushensky Reserve Viktor Lukarevsky and mammalogist, post-graduate of Tomsk state university Pavel Vlasenko.

Photo from trail cameras in nature reserves Khakassky and Pozarym.