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.
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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Oct 3, 2013

Putin Visits Tiger Rehabilitation Centre

Cub gets medical check-up (c) Inspection Tiger
Cub gets medical check-up (c) Inspection Tiger

On September 1, 2013 that Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Rehabilitation Centre for Rare Species located in Alekseevka village. In his presence two young tigresses that were transported from Khabarovsky krai were released into the Centre’s enclosure.

After the release of 9 and 11-month-old tiger cubs, the President monitored their behaviour and movements by viewing real-time video produced by remote wildlife viewing cameras. The young tigresses began exploring the enclosure. Centre’s caretakers told Vladimir Putin about the wildlife rehabilitation process. They said that they help tiger cubs develop their stalking and hunting skills at the first moment the animals appear in the centre by releasing first rabbits and later roe deer into the enclosure with tigers.

In May, Cinderella tigress was successfully released back into the wild in Bastak Nature Reserve, Jewish Autonomous Province.

We are monitoring its (tigress’s — editor’s note) location”, said Centre’s worker showing the dynamics of animal’s movements on the information board.

It is better not to show it; poachers can catch it”, said Putin. The President asked about the current level of funding for the Centre and wondered how much money is required for its smooth operation. According to the Centre’s specialists, the Centre, a wood plot of 3 hectares, cost about 11 million roubles. And about 1 million roubles per year are needed to keep one tiger at the Centre. Thus, over 30 million roubles are needed for smooth full-time operation of the Centre during the year. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi informed that about 3-4 million roubles are going to be allocated soon. Putin asked Donskoi to do calculations and find the way for financing the Centre.

So far, the rehabilitation of tigers at the Centre was carried out by the specialists of Inspection Tiger and A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences with support from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Phoenix Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Russian Geographical Society. Transportation of the two tiger cubs from Khabarovsky krai has become possible thanks to donations from our supporters. Now, there are five tiger cubs at the Centre, and their rehabilitation requires big investments of money,” says Director of the Phoenix Fund Sergei Bereznuk. “Given that, we hope that officials not only from Moscow-based agencies but also from Primorsky krai Administration will pay attention to this project”.

Oct 2, 2013

A leopard festival

Dance performance on stage (c) Phoenix Fund
Dance performance on stage (c) Phoenix Fund

Saving rare species can be ensured not only by protecting their habitat and fighting poaching. At Phoenix Fund we believe that education of the local communities can contribute greatly to Amur leopard conservation in a long term. This is why on September 21, 2013, staff members of the Phoenix Fund took part in the Leopard and Sea Festival that was celebrated in Slavyanka.

The holiday devoted to the one of the rarest cats on the planet – the Amur leopard – has a long history. Over ten years ago thanks to local ecological NGOs, namely the Phoenix Fund and World Wildlife Fund, and with support from the Administration of Khasan district, there was a series of educational and entertaining events in local villages and on the seashore – two famous beaches in Slavyanka and Andreevka. Even then the organizers of the holiday wanted to reach out to residents and guests of the Khasan district with the following message: Leopard and sea are inseparately linked, and the fate of present and future generations depends on the state of leopard population and the status of marine resources. Traditionally, on the eve of the holiday there were clean-up actions during which volunteers collected trash and marine debris on the beaches.

This year the interconnection between this rare big cat and the sea reflected in the name of the festival – Leopard and Sea – and during the holiday one could see close cooperation between specialists of Land of the Leopard National Park and Far Eastern Marine Nature Reserve. The holiday was held on the central square of Slavyanka town. Teams of schoolchildren from almost all settlements of the Khasan district arrived to participate in the holiday. The registered participants gathered near local recreation centre. The festival started with a festive procession from the recreational centre to the central square of Slavyanka. Then, there was a Dance Flash Mob, during which representatives of each school team performed on the stage showing various dance moves, and the audience joined them quickly repeating the dance steps and movements. A group of children from local Rodnichok eco-club (gymnasia #1, Slavyanka, run by teacher Natalia Drobysheva), that the Phoenix Fund has been supporting for over 10 years, excited the audience with its energy. Then, the school teams competed in the following contests: “Fashion Show in Animals Costumes», “Drawing on Asphalt”, “Merry Relay” and “Connoisseurs”.

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