Nordgold Supports Research and Conservation of Snow Leopard
London, United Kingdom, 29 August 2017 - Nord Gold SE (“Nordgold” or the “Company”), an internationally diversified gold producer, and the Snow Leopard Foundation have signed an agreement on the research and conservation of snow leopards in the Eastern Sayan Mountains (southern Siberia, Russia). Nordgold will support the Foundation with the organised collection, processing and analysis of information about this rare big cat; research on the animal is very challenging due to its extremely remote and harsh habitat.
The Snow leopard, or ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. Many aspects of its biology remain unknown due to its remote habitat and low population density. Research on the Snow leopard supported by Nordgold will focus on Okinsky District of Buryatia. The Snow Leopard Foundation will survey the Mönkh Saridag Mountain, as well as the western part of the Tunka range and the northwestern part of Kitoy range. They will install camera traps in locations they believe are likely to be visited by snow leopards.
With less than 4,000 adult snow leopards living in the wild, and approximately only 200 in Russia, the population is dangerously low. In the 20th century, the snow leopard was included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation and wildlife protection lists issued by other countries. As of 2017, hunting snow leopards is illegal. However, they sometimes fall victim to snares used to hunt Siberian musk deer.
Once the survey is complete, the Snow Leopard Foundation will analyse the distribution and habitat of snow leopards, including its food sources and poaching statistics. This data will help direct further research and measures for their conservation.
Dmitry Medvedev, the founder, leader and manager of the Foundation said:
“Our foundation, started 30 years ago as just a group of enthusiastic researchers. This is when we first discovered the tracks of snow leopard in Okinsky and Tunkinsky districts of Buryatia. We were thrilled with the find, and the snow leopard has been the key focus of our research ever since. Studying a rare, elusive big cat in the wild requires high quality equipment, so Nordgold’s contribution and financial support has been invaluable.”
Dmitry is a pioneer of snow leopard research in Eastern Sayan.
During the field season, which lasts until late October in Eastern Sayan, the Foundation will go on several expeditions to collect data, interview local residents and install camera traps.
Oleg Bazaleev, Nordgold’s Head of Sustainable Development commented:
“This project will help us research snow leopards in greater detail, as there still is a great deal of uncharted territories where the ounce could live. Okinsky District, where Nordgold has been operating its Zun-Holba gold mine for years, is one of its suspected habitats. We have always contributed to the local community, and now we’ve decided to go further by helping with the research of a rare wild cat.”
Nordgold is an internationally diversified gold producer established in 2007. Nordgold has a proven track record of operational excellence and benefits from a significant international development pipeline. The Company is relentlessly focused on shareholder value, committed to running safe, efficient, profitable operations, which enable it to generate strong cashflows and in turn, continue to invest in its pipeline of new growth opportunities while generating returns for investors. In 2016, Nordgold produced 869 koz of gold.
Nordgold operates 9 mines (4 in Russia, 3 in Burkina Faso and one each in Guinea and Kazakhstan). It has one project in construction phase (Gross in Russia), several prospective projects and advanced exploration phase and a diverse portfolio of early-stage exploration projects and licences in Burkina Faso, Russia, French Guiana and Canada. Nordgold employs over 8,000 people.
About the Snow Leopard Foundation
The Snow Leopard Foundation was established in 1980s when a group of science students and professors started researching mountain wildlife. In 2011, they established the Snow Leopard Conservation and Research Center. In 2015, the center was reorganized into the Snow Leopard and Rare Mountain Wildlife Research and Conservation Foundation (the Snow Leopard Foundation). Today the Foundation keeps researching the snow leopard population and gathering data required to develop a conservation strategy for this rare animal.
For more information on Snow Leopard Foundation, please click www.saveirbis.ru (RUS only)
For further information, please contact:
| Anastasia Shatskaya
Head of Media Relations
|Tel: +7 495 644 4473|
|Snow Leopard Foundation|
| Dmitry Medvedev
President of Foundation
|Tel: +7 (3952) 952 299|