February 16, 2021

Snow Leopards Dream of Electric-Fenced Sheep



Snow Leopards Dream of Electric-Fenced Sheep
Beautiful animals, but also highly effective predators.  Frida Bredesen, unsplash.com

While we might be ecstatic to spot a rare snow leopard in the Altai Mountains, many livestock breeders in the area have a less positive opinion of the predator. This is due to the fact that, of course, any leopard in their right mind would love to make an easy snack out of some unsuspecting sheep or cow.

Not only is this a problem for the poor animal, but for the farmers who rely on each and every animal in their herd for financial support. So naturally, if a herdsman is lucky enough to catch a leopard in the act, they may be inclined to shoot the endangered animal to protect their own.   

Two percent of the world's quickly dwindling population of snow leopards live in Russia, and ecologists are looking into how they can do their part to save the species. They realized that they can actually help by stopping the problem at its source and assisting farmers in the region to better repair their old, ineffective fencing systems and keep the leopards at bay.

The project will begin this summer thanks to the World Around You Foundation of the Siberian Health Cooperation. They plan to first conduct a survey to determine the needs of local residents and then to install new animal shelters, electric fences, and possibly even sound-systems that would scare the pesky leopards away from danger without harming the endangered big cats.

Sounds like a win-win to us!

You Might Also Like

The Ghost of the Mountains
  • March 01, 2017

The Ghost of the Mountains

Editor Maria Antonova headed off to the mountains of the Altai to learn about a project that monitors rare snow leopards. We get to tag along.
Saving the Amur Tiger
  • September 01, 2007

Saving the Amur Tiger

The magisterial tigers of Russia's Far East are on the brink of extinction. Threats to their survival are legion: from poachers to Chinese "healers" to nervous villagers to corrupt bureaucrats. All told, just a few hundred Amur Tigers remain in the wild.
Defending Russian Nature
  • September 01, 2003

Defending Russian Nature

Over the last century, Russia has created a system of preserves -- zapovedniki -- where wilderness holds sway and humans are rarely allowed. It is the world's largest system of strict nature preserves. We meet some of the heroes quietly working to preserve these zapovedniki, despite miserly allocations from the government.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
The Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955