Phoenix has been co-operating fruitfully with Zov Tigra National Park since its establishment in 2008 and will continue to assist in their efforts to keep tiger and prey numbers stable.
The anti-poaching teams of the Park prevent/reveal violations of protection regime, gather all tips concerning supposed tiger traders, dealers or orders for tiger skin, if there is any, and forward this information to relevant agencies (customs, police).
Thanks to the financial support from GlobalGiving donations in previous years, rangers in the field have the most sophisticated tools they need to patrol wild places threatened by armed and rather well-funded hunters illegally killing off tiger prey in the national park. We provided our rangers with the best equipment and smartest technology to effectively combat all kinds of poaching.
Unfortunately, the Federal Government has not been allocating sufficient funds for the Park to operate in full force. Thanks to our GlobalGiving supporters, the law enforcement staff could conduct anti-poaching patrols on a regular basis in 2011-2014, and we managed to increase the efficiency of anti-poaching efforts in Zov Tigra which contributed to a 400% increase of tigers in the national park last year. The all-terrain vehicle was purchased for the Park’s rangers. Through supporting regular anti-poaching patrols, supplying rangers with fuel and spare parts for patrol vehicle, and implementing Spatial Monitoring and Reporting programme SMART, we ensured adequate protection of the Amur tigers and their habitat in Zov Tigra National Park.
The Phoenix Fund is satisfied with the overall progress of the project. From January through October 2014, Phoenix provided Zov Tigra National Park with fuel, spare and repair parts to carry out regular anti-poaching and habitat protection patrols. Anti-poaching activities were implemented by guardians. The main anti-poaching methods were as follows:
- foot, car, ATV, snowmobile and motorcycle patrols;
- checking camps, winter cabins and recreation centres located in the PA;
- making night ambushes on roads leading to the Park;
- tracking hunters in spring when there is thin crust of ice over snow;
- gathering all tips concerning poaching cases or other violations within PAs.
In 2014, we had two meetings (in May and August) at the Zov Tigra National Park during which we discussed the results achieved in 2013 and 2014. During the first half of this year, the law enforcement efforts in Zov Tigra National Park were higher than in 2013! It means the quality of patrol efforts increased substantially: the inspectors carried out more foot patrols, spent more time on patrols, and increased frequencies of patrols. And there are more tigers there. In the beginning of 2014, the protection system of the Zov Tigra remained the same: the inspectors were on duty at two guarding stations at the entry gates with 10 days shifts and two mobile anti-poaching teams - the South and the North teams – that regularly patrolled the protected lands. The inspectors used jeeps, motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs depending on the route and weather conditions to get to the remote areas of the park. During the first half of the year, only three violations took place in ZTNP.
During the many-days patrol carried out from April 27 through May 10, the North team revealed an illegal salt ground and a hide on the northern edge of the national park near Sukhaya Rechka. The inspectors disassembled the construction and removed it from the site. Poachers had no chance to use this infrastructure anymore, and wildlife crime was prevented thanks to timely response of the mobile team.
On May 14, inspectors Tikhonovich and Borisenko were patrolling the road along the Sobolinny spring leading towards mountain Oblachnaya and stopped a man who entered the protected area illegally. An administrative citation was issued and violator was imposed a fine.
The third violation was also a trespassing and was registered by the South team near Kamensky waterfall on June 16. The inspectors wrote an administrative report and fined a violator.
In total, from January through July 2014, the anti-poaching teams of the Zov Tigra National Park conducted 580 day and night patrols and revealed 11 violations.
The reason why we decided to terminate this project on GlobalGiving is that in August 2014 Zov Tigra National Park and Lazovsky Nature Reserve were amalgamated to become one institution renamed United Directorate of Federal Nature Reserves and National Parks. Phoenix will continue its support for United Protected Area to prevent weak performance under the new administration. We feel that there is a chance we would not be able to meet commitments to our GlobalGiving supporters with this project during the transition time. You can always follow our work and get fresh news on our projects at http://fundphoenix.org/en/
Let us thank you once again for the great support you provided for Zov Tigra National Park. Your support ensured the survival of Amur tigers there!
During the first half of this year, the law enforcement efforts in Zov Tigra National Park were higher than in 2013! It means the law enforcement monitoring programme MIST that you have supported through your donations helped to increase the quality of patrol efforts substantially: the inspectors carried out more foot patrols, spent more time on patrols, and increased frequencies of patrols. And there are more tigers there. MIST/SMART works perfect there.
The anti-poaching teams of the Zov Tigra National Park conducted 387 patrols, covered 1,630 km of protected area on foot, and 3,296 km on vehicles and motorcycles. Only two violations of protected regime took place in the national park in the reported period.
It is worth mentioning that later in 2014 Lazovsky Nature Reserve and Zov Tigra National Park will be amalgamated to become one institution renamed United Directorate of Federal Nature Reserves and National Parks. In that connection, we should do our best to prevent weak performance underthe new administration during the second half of the year. And the great news is soon you'll be able to support a bigger protected area and contribute to conservation of even more tigers!
The Phoenix Fund has been supporting the Zov Tigra National Park since its establishment in 2008. And thanks to financial support from the GlobalGiving community in 2013 we continued providing the park’s anti-poaching teams with fuel and spare and repair parts for patrol vehicles and inspectors could carry out regular anti-poaching and habitat protection patrols.
From January 1st through December 31st, 2013 the mobile teams of Zov Tigra National Park showed the following results: 163 patrols conducted by the North team and 130 by the South team, 1 902 km covered on foot and 4 615 km by vehicles. In total they spent 3 955 hours protecting the Park from poachers.
In 2013 the weather conditions were unpredictable. Unlike usual there was rather dry June. But from the middle of July and through August it was raining heavily that caused a flood on all waterways. As a result the territory of park was almost inaccessible for more than a month. All the newly restored bridges were washed away.
After several years the tourists finally learned the camping rules at the national park. Only few violations of visiting regulations were registered this year. For example, in May a senior lady was stopped in the Park and was issued a written warning for illegal entering the protected area. In June, a group of tourists was fined for setting up a campfire out of the fire pit area.
The number of tourists in 2013 was record since the establishment of the Zov Tigra although the road conditions remained very difficult. The positive thing, however, is that a large number of visitors obviously discouraged poachers.
The main problem with efficient protection of the Zov Tigra National Park remains the inaccessibility of some parts of the PA. The forest roads become worse and worse. It is hard to drive there even on the four-wheel drive vehicles. That is why the teams cannot control some areas regularly. Although 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, 705 km by Yamaha Grisly 700 quad bike and issued five administrative citations on illegal presence.
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 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 in 2013.
We thank everyone who contributed to our project at GlobalGiving and will continue to collect funds in 2014 for a new ATV that is extremely needed for the park rangers to conduct anti-poaching patrols in the remote parts of the protected areas.
Monitoring of Amur tigers
Over the past three years our partners from Zoological Society of London have been using camera traps to monitor tigers and also conducting snow track surveys in Zov Tigra National Park (ZT). Because it is vitally important to understand how tigers move within their range inside and outside of the park, the survey was extended to include the Lazovsky Nature Reserve and unprotected area between Zov Tigra and the reserve which is managed by the private hunting club “Medved” (MHL). Monitoring a larger and continuous area provided better information about tiger survival, reproduction, and movements of animals between protected areas where they are likely more susceptible to poaching.
Specialists counted 8 adult tigers in Zov Tigra and 25 more tigers in the study area outside the park from December 2012-May 2013. These results are great news for tigers because they indicate a 400% increase of tigers in ZT (which still has lots of room for more tigers) compared to two animals counted last year. The fact that no wolves were recorded this year in Zov Tigra is additional evidence that tigers are making a comeback because the decline of wolves as Amur tigers increase in abundance is well documented in Russia. Tiger specialists also found good reproduction in 2013 throughout the area including one new litter of cubs on neighboring protected area and 10 older cubs (sub adults) alive from 4 litters recorded during 2012 survey.
These results are the best indicator of the good anti-poaching protection of the park. We want to thank everyone who contributed to our project in 2013 through GlobalGiving! Your support has truly made a difference for tigers and we will be grateful if you will continue to support our law-enforcement work in Zov Tigra National Park in 2014.
*The study was conducted by Linda Kerley, ZSL
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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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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