Phoenix Fund

Our mission is to conserve the exceptionally rich fauna and flora of the Russian Far East, the only region where Amur tigers and leopards survive in the wild. These magnificent animals are threatened by habitat deterioration, poaching of the big cats themselves and depletion of their prey populations.
Jan 15, 2013

Stray Tiger Cub Found in Primorye

During the first week of January 2013 residents of Svetlogorye village, Pozharsky district of Primorye, found tiger cub paw prints near the human settlement.  Although there were no conflict cases yet, local people started getting nervous and informed local law enforcement agencies about the young predator. Tiger specialists immediately arrived at the scene in order to find out what caused the animal to approach the dwellings. According to specialists of Primorsky Hunting Management Department, there were four tiger cubs wandering about. Three of them made their way to the north – Khabarovsky krai, and the one left in Primorye. No tracks of any adult tigresses were found nearby.

The cub was captured on January 9th. As the animal was extremely emaciated, it was decided to transport it to the Utyos Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Khabarovsky krai which is located not too far from Svetlogorye village. There were fears that the cub would not get through a long trip to the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre located in the south of Primorye (almost an 8-hour drive). The young predator will be kept at Utyos for at least a couple of weeks until vets can decide the fate of the animal. If the tiger regain its health quickly, it will be transported to the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre for further rehabilitation where Centre’s caretakers will prepare the animal for release back to the wild.

It is known that cubs left without a mother in the wild are completely vulnerable and cannot survive on their own. Discovering tiger cubs roaming without their mother in the wild means that something must have happened to the adult tigress, otherwise, it would have never left its cubs alone. Experts will investigate the case and try to find out what have happened with the mother tigress.

Sergei Bereznuk, director of the Phoenix Fund:
That’s the second time this winter when orphaned tiger cubs are found in the wild. The first case occurred in late November 2012 when three cubs  were found without their mother, and now they are kept at the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre near Alekseevka village (Nadezhdinsky district of Primorye). And now,one more tiger cub has been rescued. Probably, three other siblings will be captured soon too. This is certainly a very alarming sign for the Amur tiger population.  It might be supposed that tigresses had been killed by poachers. If the tiger cubs found this winter die, the population will lose  NINE individuals only within the first half of winter.  That is why our top priority now is to successfully rehabilitate them for return to the wild. It is extremely needed to provide finanacial support to the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre, help keep tigers there and purchase necessary equipment“.

Jan 15, 2013

Patrol work in Zov Tigra bacame more efficient

A map shows the ATV movements and routes.
A map shows the ATV movements and routes.

Since the creation of the park there are still areas where the foot of inspector never stepped because of poor accessibility of the park. Due to the mountainous terrain to the north and south of the Park and a few surfaced roads, vehicular access is extremely limited and particularly so during winter and spring, when roads become impassable. In June 2012, thanks to financial support from Healthy Planet the Phoenix Fund provided the Park’s anti-poaching teams with a quad bike (ATV). Since July the ATV has been used intensively by the guards and showed great performance.

A GPS Fleet Tracking equipment was installed on the ATV. The Vehicle Tracking System allows to create an electronic record of the movements of the vehicle and constantly keep track of the whereabouts of the vehicle through its communication with various local satellites, and then periodically sends a signal to a database, where the information is stored and analysed. 

From July through November the Park lands were protected by two mobile anti-poaching teams: the South and the North teams. They conducted patrols along the perimeter and in the core area of the national park. In addition, two guards were on duty at the entry gates. These guards rotated on a 10 day basis.

During the patrols the teams were checking camps and winter cabins located in the PA, making ambushes on roads leading to the Park, tracking hunters on fresh snow, gathering all tips concerning poaching cases or other violations within the park.

Besides the newly purchased ATV the Park has a snowmobile, two motorcycles, and four jeeps in its arsenal however those vehicles allow the teams to patrol along roads and areas of backcountry. On ATV the inspectors conducted off-road patrols through the Park’s brushy wilderness areas looking for people engaged in illegal activity where they did not manage to get before.  

Additionally, the inspectors took measures to prevent, detect and monitor forest fires over the park, constructed feeding stations for ungulates, and explained basic rules of human behaviour in taiga to outdoorsmen in order to make them good, safe and smart wildlife observers.

From July 1st through December 31st 2012 the inspectors of Zov Tigra National Park achieved the following results:

164 anti-poaching patrols were conducted, including

20 off-road patrols on the ATV,

17 administrative citations were issued during the ATV patrols,

13 violations of protection regime were revealed,

1,101 km patrolled on foot,

539 km patrolled on ATV.

This effective work and great results show that the Park where there are two anti-poaching teams needs a second ATV to protect the Amur tiger habitat with the best effort.

Dec 19, 2012

Three Cubs Joined Cinderella

The first week of December 2012 marked the busiest days at the Amur Tiger Rehabilitation Centre located in Alekseevka village (Primorsky krai, Russian Far East). The centre has admitted new patients - three Amur tiger cubs –that were found in the woods without their mother in late November. The Phoenix Fund and Inspection Tiger are addressing to the community and asking for donations to help feed the young predators and prepare them for release back in taiga.

Despite the fact that the rescue operation was a success, there are few reasons for joy. The specialists are unanimous in their supposition regarding a tiger mother. The tigress must have been poached or left her cubs because of lack of prey.  And now, specialists of Inspection Tiger and A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences as well as non-governmental organisations are responsible for nursing the animals and preparing them for release into the wild. The Phoenix Fund and International Fund for Animal Welfare, who are already involved in raising funds for young tigress Cinderella, have offered their help and launched a fundraising campaign to support the orphans.

Help us support these tiger cubs! Your help would give them a better chance of returning to the taiga. It is hoped that the three cubs will be released back into the wild to play a vital role in the future survival of these magnificent big cats.

PLEASE DONATE NOW! Whatever you can give would be gratefully received. Thank you.

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