Th year 2012 started with an intense work of the South anti-poaching team that patrolled the core leopard breeding area. In total in January the team conducted 27 anti-poaching checks including joint patrols with gamekeepers of adjacent hunting estates across the territory of both Kedrovaya Pad nature reserve and Leopardovy wildlife refuge. The inspectors carried out vehicle patrols along with foot patrols during the day time but also laid ambushes at nights.
Absence of snow in the southern part of Leopardovy wildlife refuge and in adjacent territories caused periodical forest ignitions. Three forest fires were put out on the territory of Lebyazhya lagoon outside the nature reserve and in Leopardovy refuge around railway station Pozharsky. The inspectors successfully suppressed all ignitions preventing significant loss in wildlife and leopard habitat.
The expected splash of poaching on a southern part of the wildlife refuge and reserve was not registered. During the spot-checks no infringers involved in illegal hunting were detained. But nevertheless rare presence of people in territory of the PA was revealed. On January 22, an abandoned rifle was found near a river head of the Poima river. Most likely, the given weapon was dumped by poachers after they noticed the patrol car from towering hills. Also the fresh tracks of people were found on the northern slopes. The weapon was handed over to Khasansky Police department for the further trial and detection of the owner of the gun.
The leader of the team Evgeny Stoma explains the low numbers of poaching citations in the reported month: “First of all, certainly, this indicates a poaching decrease in southern territory. Those poachers groups that continue to conduct illegal hunting at wildlife refuge territories became even more careful. And detention of such organized groups requires a long and thorough preparation in which the South team is now actively engaged.”
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