Bear, Wild Boar and Siberian Goat Population Reaches New High at Zhongar-Alatau Nature Park

ASTANA – The bear, wild boar, and Siberian mountain goat populations in Zhongar-Alatau state national nature park have doubled amid a good forage base and the use of innovative technologies in monitoring wild animals, reported the Khabar news agency on Feb. 7.

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The national park’s latest data also show that the efforts to conserve deer have been successful as well, with their numbers increasing by around 130 animals.

According to Sergey Davydchenko, a hunter who has been watching wild animals for over 10 years, life in the Zhongar-Alatau national park follows the strict laws of nature.

“We have a good addition of teks [also known as Siberian mountain goat]. We used to have around 50-70 heads, as we counted, now, we have over 200 heads. The number of pigs increased. The bear has evolved very much, the good forage base allows for that. That is why they are growing. Earlier, a female bear used to give birth to one or two cubs, but now triplets are very common,” said Davydchenko.

The national park is home to 55 species of mammals and over 170 species of birds. Now, the campaign to count the number of wildlife has begun.

Technology solutions have been identified as one of the drivers in helping to track and protect the species. Photo traps, which often capture animals, have proven to be a useful tool in this process in addition to special satellite smartphones with geo-navigation. Information from the devices is immediately fed into a unified database with automatic recording of the date and time of monitoring.

“Due to the fact that it works through satellite communication, we can do a lot of work in a short time. It is very convenient. The battery lasts for 10 days, so we can be in the mountains all this time,” said Zhanali Kumargaliyev, a zoologist at the national park, about the satellite smartphones.

There has also been progress on the development of tourist routes with two new routes being added to nine existing ones. More than 3,000 tourists visited Zhongar-Alatau nature park last year. The park estimates that the addition of new routes will result in a 1.5-fold increase in visitors in the future.

“The most promising tourist route now is Lake Zhasylkol, which is in high demand. It is planned to properly furnish this route during the tourist season, and it is also planned to open a visit center in the village of Topolevka,” said Deputy Director of Zhongar-Alatau park Kuanysh Akylbayev.

Video credit: Instagram/zhongar_alatau_kz.

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