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Karnaukhov, A. S., Malykh, S. V., Korablev, M. P., Kalashnikova, Y. M., Poyarkov, A. D., Rozhnov, V. V. (2018). Current Status of the Eastern Sayan Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) Grouping and Its Nutritive Base. Biology Bulletin, 45(9), 1106–1115.
Abstract: A field survey of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) habitats was carried out in the southeastern part of
the Eastern Sayan Mountains (Okinskii and Tunkinskii districts of the Republic of Buryatia and the Kaa-
Khemskii district of Tuva Republic). Seven or eight adult snow leopards were observed as constant inhabitants
of the Tunkinskie Gol'tsy, Munku-Sardyk, and Bol'shoi Sayan mountain ridges. The presence of eight
snow leopards was confirmed using DNA-based analyses of scats collected in 2014 – 2016. The main prey species
of the snow leopard in Eastern Sayan is the Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica), but its abundance has steadily
decreased over the past 20 years. The red deer (Cervus elaphus) and the wild boar (Sus scrofa), which were
some of the most numerous ungulates in the survey area, are replacing the Siberian ibex in the snow leopard's
diet. In addition, the mountain hare (Lepus timidus) is also of importance to the snow leopard's diet.