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.
Dec 23, 2013

Photo report from rehabilitation center

Dear supporters, this week we would like to share with you some new photographs of the orphaned tiger cubs, which are getting ready for the release back into the wild at the Rehabilitation Centre for Tigers and Other Rare Species in Alekseevka village.

According to Center’s specialists the young predators are doing well. The cubs started their first hunting training. They successfully hunted down deer and wild boars. Both male and female tigers succeeded in killing of a large prey.

Cubs are well prepared for the winter. They have good fleshing and winter fur. After the first snow the tiger cubs became more careful. Now they are most active at dusk. Tiger Ustin and tigresses Svetlaya and Ilona became good friends — they communicate with each other through the adjacent fence.Now the main goal of the last period of rehabilitation is honing cubs’ hunting skills and we hope that all inhabitants of the Center will cope with this task perfectly well!

We are grateful to everyone who supports the Rehabilitation Centre for Tigers and Other Rare Species!

Photo credits: Petr Sonin and Katerina Blidchenko/ A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences/ Inspection Tiger

Dec 18, 2013

The leopards at the deer farm in Khasan

The efficient anti-poaching activities that were implemented in Khasansky district of Primorye thanks to GlobalGiving supporters ensured good protection of leopards’ habitat. But the survival of the big cats also depends on a peaceful coexistence of animals and people.   

For more than two years the female Amur leopard Sophie lives in close proximity to one of the deer farms located in the Khasansky district of Primorye. Such neighborship is unfavorable to the owner because the animal uses his territory as the hunting site. Therefore, the farmer suffers constant damage from leopard’s presence.To solve the conflict between the man and the animal the Phoenix Fund together with the Institute of environmental problems and evolution of A.N. Severtsov of the Russian Academy of Sciences developed a special program which helps to maintain tolerant relation of the farmers towards rare predators. The main difference of this program from paying compensation to the owner of cattle for the damage caused by a predator is that every month the farmer receives a fixed sum of money for the fact of leopard’s presence in close proximity to his territory. The information on leopard’s presence in the territory of the deer farm at the beginning was gathered by scientists through the coordinates received from Sophie’s radio collar, and later, when the batteries on the collar ran down - through the photos made with photo traps.

After a long pause during the spring and autumn season when the hidden cameras couldn't record presence of a leopard at the Olenevod deer farm in Khasan, the good news came – camera traps finally caught female leopard Sophie, her kitten and a male leopard. Now the experts will compare new photos with hundreds of others available in a database to define who is visiting Sophie. Old or new guests?

The owner of the farm Alexander Khudenko was also excited about the new photographs of the leopards. These photographs allowed him to receive a promised compensation from the Phoenix Fund for a long-term presence of the animal on the farm’s land. The compensation for 7 months from May to November amounted in a rather big sum of money - 105 thousand rubles ($3500)!

In order to monitor leopards’ presence on the private territory in future, the Phoenix Fund purchased additional photo traps which will be installed along the perimeter of the deer farm in 2014.

We hope that this project will help cultivate tolerance among locals towards rare and beautiful wild cats, and also will make them proud to be living in the neighborhood with such unique animals.

 

Photo credits: A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Oct 10, 2013

Anti-poaching efforts during third quarter 2013

During the third quarter 2013 the inspectors of two mobile anti-poaching teams spent the majority of their time patrolling along the perimeter of Zov Tigra National Park and in its core area. Additionally, they conducted fieldwork to track animal populations and performed educational outreach services. During the patrols the anti-poaching teams checked camps and cabins located in the protected area, made ambushes on roads leading to the Park, tracked hunters, gathered all tips concerning illegal activities within the park. We are glad to inform that there was a growth in patrol efforts, although the inspectors started to travel too much on motor bikes and a quad bike instead of on foot. On a quad bike (ATV) purchased last year thanks to financial support from the Healthy Planet, 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. Thus, from January through September 2013 about 1,550 km was patrolled on ATV. ATV has already showed greater performance in the mountainous landscape than the motorcycles and cars; and the Park’s administration informed that at least two more ATVs would be extremely useful for law-enforcement service of the protected area. We hope that it will be possible soon to purchase at least one extra ATV thanks to generous donations from GlobalGiving's donors. 

In July and August, the inspectors carried out two long-range multi-day patrols (each lasted 22 days) on the northern part of the protected area, covered 169 km on foot along the Ussuri River and 705 km by Yamaha Grisly 700 quad bike and issued five administrative citations on illegal presence.

During the fieldwork on the southern part of the national park, the inspectors conducted seven patrols (31 days) along the Milogradovka River, covered 204 km on foot and 203 km by motorized vehicles and issued six administrative citations. Additionally, they spent 12 days patrolling along the Pasechny stream to prevent any crimes there. No violations were revealed.

Analyzing the data on administrative citations issued by the inspectors of Zov Tigra National Park between 2009 and 2013, we can say that since 2011 a number of administrative citations has been declining progressively which indicates that there is a decrease in violations in Zov Tigra National Park because people have become aware of a high possibility of being caught and punished for their illegal activities. This also supported by the fact that no cases of poaching were revealed during the nine months of 2013.

We would like to thank everyone who supports this project!


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