From our snow leopard volunteering expedition in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan (http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/tienshan)

Following teams 1 and 2, team 3 also spent their (Sun)day off with a herder. The afternoon was entertaining for everybody, including the family of the herder 😉

At the beginning of this week we resurveyed valleys that we could not reach the end of previously, because of snow. A very promising valley (we named it ‘You Youkon’) attracted our attention from the very first visit. This week Ulf, Ilka, Sheilo and Paul finally made it up to a pass that might give us the chance of advancing further north into what we hope will be undisturbed higher ground. Their findings confirmed our plan to go back there again for an overnighter: many ibex and argali tracks as well as wolf scat.

The Ysik Ata valley can now also be walked up to the very end, up to the ridge where the glacier begins. There we installed two camera traps in promising places (and have now added camera trap pictures to the previous entry on https://biosphereexpeditions.wordpress.com/).

Throughout this slot we have found petroglyphs in many places. We are actually not counting them anymore. Thomas has meanwhile compiled a comprehensive collection of photos of them. Thanks’ for that.

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We have also extended our surveys to the east, checking out a new valley. Again there seems to be a pass leading north into the unknown and hopefully undisturbed parts of the range. Besides the perpetually exciting sightings of several ibex, the local herder told us that last year he saw a snow leopard feeding on a sheep in that area. Well, you can’t take everything for granted, but we will definitely be back. And it feels like we’re getting closer to our quarry…

From our snow leopard volunteering expedition in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan

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