Jun 19, 2018

Law-enforcement work in the Land of the Leopard

(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP

From April through mid-June, the team performed the full spectrum of law enforcement activities in Land of the Leopard National Park with your support that allowed us to provide patrol support, fuel, field allowance and necessary equipment. The rangers protected the assigned area by detecting and investigating criminal activity and apprehending violators. The rangers carried out 62 anti-poaching patrols. In total, the team covered about 585 km on foot. Eleven tiger tracks were discovered near human settlements: near Ovchinnikovo village, near Filippovka village, and near the Narva River.

In late March, a new staff member Mikhail Rubei joined the team. In April, the most attention was paid to new artificial salt-licks discovered in Land of the Leopard National Park and Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve. Sings of human presence were found only at a salt-lick near Strelkovy stream. In order to check salt-licks in hard-to-access areas the rangers used quad bikes. .

In May, special attention was paid to the territories near human settlements, namely Barabash, Ovchinnikovo, Filippovka, and Bamburovo villages and near the Narva River. When patrolling the territory of Kedrovaya Pad near Barabash village, the rangers detained a man for unauthorized presence.

In the reported period, there were a number of forest fires, and the team was involved in firefighting actions. In order to define fire location and its size, the team used a quadcopter. Fortunately, the fire-hazardous season is over and the team will have a break from fire-fighting till fall. In summer the number of poachers and other violators is also coming down, however the rangers will continue patrolling the protected territory to ensure safety of the rare Amur leopards.

Camera traps at the Land of the Leopard are regularly capturing Amur leopards in different areas and circumstances. The camera traps show us the growing leopard population, new cubs and new couples. And this is the best confirmation that our joint efforts are effective. Thank you for your support of Amur leopard conservation and our work!

(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
(c) Land of the Leopard NP
Jun 12, 2018

Workshops for tiger specialists and ecologists

(c) WCS
(c) WCS

Two workshops for tiger specialists were conducted in Terney during the past two months.

First in several years a workshop on geo-information technology and spatial analysis, ‘intro to gis’, was held in Terney on April 15-21, 2018. Participants spent 7 days working with free software qgis. To make learning efficient, every participant analyzed their own data.

Participants included professionals from various protected areas of the Russian Far East as well as students of Far Eastern Federal University.

The workshop aimed for beginners as well as advanced users willing to learn new software, new methods and tools of spatial analysis.

During the workshop, participants learned how to work with vector and raster data, create and analyze maps. At the last day, everyone presented an analysis of their own spatial data as a final project of the workshop. With this new knowledge both specialists and students will be able to conduct and process their research data more effectively which will contribute to Amur tiger conservation and conservation of its prey species.

On June 5, our Sikhote-Alin Research Center hosted one more 5-day workshop – a workshop on population ecology. This time we taught population ecology, namely methods to estimate population abundance and then analyze these data.

'How many individuals are out there?' that is a question which is often asked by researchers and public. However, it is a very challenging task to obtain realistic estimates of population density. We discussed transect and plot surveys, methods of capture-recapture, spatially-explicit methods, and survey of animals when individuals are not recognized. For rare and elusive species, such as Amur tiger, occupancy analysis was introduced.

Population growth rate – one more important parameter which conservationists and ecologists often analyze. To answer questions about population trends, attendees learned how to conduct population viability analysis. It was great to see that every participant was eager to learn challenging math and various models necessary to conduct PVA. All exercises were done with programming language R.

Our belief is that education of scientists and future ecologists is extremely important to ensure the survival of rare Amur tigers because knowledge of the species and their ecology is crucial for their conservation. We want to thank all donors for supporting this project!

(c) WCS
(c) WCS
May 24, 2018

Saikhan and Lazovka were released!

One day before release (c) PRNCO "Tiger Centre"
One day before release (c) PRNCO "Tiger Centre"

On May 12, two Amur tigers, Saikhan and Lazovka, who underwent rehabilitation at the Tiger Rehabilitation Centre in Alekseevka were transported to a temporary open-air enclosure built for them in the Jewish Autonomous Region taiga. A week later the enclosure was opened remotely. On the evening of May 19th, tigress from Lazo was the first to leave the cage and went east, and Saikhan ran out on the morning of 20 May and headed to the west.

The couple is ready for independent life in the wild. During rehabilitation, the tigers acquired hunting skills and learned to stay away from humans. They now have all the necessary skills to live in the wild on their own. We all look forward to witness their future life. The more we observe big cats’ reintroduction the more surprised we are. In this new experiment we are excited to see if Saikhan and Lazovka will stay together, and we will keep you posted on their moves and news.

Before the release there already was a stable group of 11 Amur tigers in the Jewish Autonomous Region. The prey supply, minimal human impact, good anti-poaching protection contribute to the success in settling Amur tigers in the region.

Thank you for supporting our project and your personal contribution reintroduction of Amur tigers to the northwestern part of their historical habitat!

Immobilized (c) PRNCO "Tiger Centre"
Immobilized (c) PRNCO "Tiger Centre"
 
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