During our field trip in June, we set up two camera traps on a dam 4 km from Altybai in the centre of the Altyn Dala Conservancy (Kazhakstan).
What a sursprise, as we now checked the camera for pictures! It had been the first time we used camera traps and we were rewarded with perfects shots of a steppe wolf. They are the first close-up pictures of a wolf we have from Altyn Dala!
The Altybai area in our wildlife management area is a special ecosystem for the central steppe. It is partly covered by wild olive and tamarisk groves, which make it partly look like a forest savanna. Last year we had already found tracks and a day resting site of wolf in the same place where we now set up the camera trap. The trap was only fixed for two days until this probably young female wolf passed by at 12 AM.
Very little is known about the ecology of the steppe wolf so far and we have little information about their numbers. It would be great if we could establish a monitoring scheme based on camera traps and are looking for a possibility to fund satellite collars for wolfs to get more knowledge about their ranges and movements.
Apart from the wolf, we trapped a fox, a badger and partridges.
The Alybai area and represents a very rare ecosystem in the steppe includes the summer pastures of the largest population of saiga antelope. Its groves of Oleaster are used by wild boar, wolves and many bird species for shelter and food.
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