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.
Sep 30, 2016

Filippa is looking for a new home

Filippa in the enclosure (c) Tiger Center
Filippa in the enclosure (c) Tiger Center

The administration of Jewish Autonomous Region approved the location of the release of the rehabilitated tigress Filippa in May 2017 on their territory! Tiger’s releases will help speed up the formation of a sustainable Amur tiger habitat in the territory of the Jewish Autonomous Region.

Filippa has undergone a regular medical check-up at the Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals. Specialists assessed Filippa’s health, measured her body and took blood samples. The results showed that the tigress is in good health. She is very active and has acquired the skills vital for predators.

“The tigress has successfully learnt to avoid humans, which, aside from being able to hunt on her own, is a necessary condition for her potential return to the wild,” Yekaterina, a senior researcher at Land of the Leopard National Park and zoologist at the PRNCO “Tiger Center”, said commenting on the examination’s results.

Filippa’s “passport” has also been compiled. It will help researchers to identify her among other tigers in the future. If her rehabilitation proceeds smoothly, she may be ready to return to the wild in a year, scientists say.

In the meantime, tiger specialists have to determine the optimum release place by conducting a survey of the area and create social project on rehabilitation of stable tiger population. During the seven-month period the “Tiger Center” specialists will conduct a retrospective analysis of the Amur tiger habitat in the region, identify the most suitable release site to avoid future conflicts with humans. In addition, it is necessary to analyze the available prey base and identify tiger breeding areas ensuring sustainable existence of the predator groups. An important component of a successful release will be the preparation of the local population. It is planned to develop and produce educational publications for residents of the area explaining the feasibility of restoring Amur tiger numbers and the rules of human behavior in tiger habitat.

Another happy ending for one orphaned tiger cub becomes possible thanks to your support! Every donated dollar ensures the good health of the tigress in the rehabilitation center and builds a bridge for her new life in the wild. We are now collecting funds to perform all the necessary surveys and pre-release arrangements to make sure Filippa will like her new home.  

The tigress was just four month old when she was found by a resident of Filippovka, a village in the Khasan District in Primorye, in winter 2015.  The emaciated cub was immediately taken to the rehabilitation “Tiger Center”, where she has been under observation ever since.

 

Weighing (c) Land of the Leopard NP
Weighing (c) Land of the Leopard NP
Medical check-up (c) Land of the Leopard NP
Medical check-up (c) Land of the Leopard NP
Cages for tiger transportation (c) Tiger Center
Cages for tiger transportation (c) Tiger Center

Links:

Jul 20, 2016

Intimate Friendship Between Released Tigers

Great news for all of our supporters who contributed to Amur tigers' rehabilitation through GlobalGiving: tigers Boris and Svetlaya seem to be having a good time in each others company. Friends will be friends!

Recently, unique photos of tigers released in 2014 have been received from Zhuravliny Wildlife Refuge, Jewish Autonomous Province. The tigers Boris and Svetlaya have been seeing each other frequently! They relax and move around their territorial range together. It indicates that the tigers contact with each other not only for the purposes of mating; they are keeping their close relationship during the year. This fact shows that the social structure of the tiger is more complicated than it was considered earlier.

Monitoring activities are carried out by specialists of the Centre for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals, Hunting Management Department of Jewish Autonomous Province, Wildlife Conservation Society, A.N Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution (Russian Academy of Sciences), Bastak and Khingansky nature reserves thanks to your support! So we thought you would like to take a look at those photos.

Links:

Jun 29, 2016

Record number of leopard cubs in the National Park

According to the press service of the Far Eastern Leopard Programme sixteen Amur leopard cubs were tracked by camera-traps in the Land of the Leopard National Park in 2015 and 2016, which is nearly three times more than in 2014 when scientists only got images of six young predators.

National park experts said the cubs had been born from eight females. Their names are Grace the leopardess, Sochi, Alexa, Umka, and also three unnamed females. Queen Borte the leopardess had three cubs in her litter. Scientists said the cubs looked healthy and followed their mother’s heels closely.

However, the number of recorded cubs may have increased not only due to the growing leopard population but also due to a larger number of trail cameras in the park. In 2016, over 300 hidden cameras were set up on an area of 3,000 sq km. The monitored territory has expanded substantially allowing scientists to obtain more information about the population of the rarest wildcat on the planet.

“Trail cameras have drastically improved the quality of information used for assessing the population. This method is different from the traditional approach when leopards were counted from their paw prints in the snow. Photo monitoring is an objective method that doesn’t depend on the weather or expert personal opinion. We have laid the foundation for future objective research,” said deputy director for research at Land of the Leopard.

Now experts are analyzing the data from camera traps, and the number of cubs recorded in 2015 could turn out to be even higher. Final results of the 2015 monitoring and also new data on the number of leopards in the wild will be released this summer. The previous monitoring put the total number of Amur leopards living in Russia at about 70.

We thank all our supporters for making this great and promissing change happen. 

 
   

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