Sep 6, 2018

Final report

(c) SABZ
(c) SABZ

About 500 Amur tigers are left in the wild, with 95% of them in the Russian Far East. Within the tiger’s range in Russia, Sikhote-Alin has been a stronghold for the Amur tiger and harbors over 50 individuals today. 

The goal of the Save Wild Tigers of Sikhote-Alin Project was to improve protection of Amur tigers using the SMART law enforcement monitoring system, and providing incentives for rangers to improve their efforts. In 2018 the law-enforcement teams continued carrying out regular anti-poaching and habitat protection patrols using SMART. As a result of anti-poaching efforts in the first half of 2018, 14 violations were revealed, including 1 case of poaching, one rifle was seized. We are glad to report that much less serious violations, such as illegal hunting or fishing, were revealed in the project site. Unauthorized presence was the most common violation. Overall patrol quality remains good and we witness a continuing diminishing dependency on technical and management assistance from us.

To achieve the long-term conservation goal we conducted educational programs, like Tiger Day Festival in Terney, ecological lessons and actions for children and adults to teach the value of tigers and forests. In 2018 we carried out 205 ecological actions and classes for 2575 children and 222 adults in Terneisky district.

Another long-term goal was training young professionals to ensures the conservation work will continue in the future. During the project implementation we provided support to the Sikhote-Alin Research Center, which serves as a training ground for promising Russian graduate students in wildlife biology and biodiversity conservation. Russian students based at the center conduct research jointly with foreign graduate students, with supervision from WCS and Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik scientific staff, maximizing opportunity for cultural, linguistic, and scientific exchange, and improving the skills needed for young Russian and Western ecologists to establish themselves in the international conservation arena. 

Since October 2016, 137 people have been trained there. In 2018, workshops on spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR), QGIS, public speaking and population ecology were conducted. Students at the Sikhote-Alin Research Center also participated extensively in radio-telemetry, tracking and capture activities, all conducted as part of the Siberian Tiger Project. This work with graduate students is a vital stepping stone in building local capacity in the Russian Far East, and in ensuring that there will be a group of Russian professionals capable of carrying on science and conservation in the region.

(c) Phoenix Fund
(c) Phoenix Fund
(c) WCS
(c) WCS
Jun 26, 2018

Tiger family moves to a spacious enclosure

(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"

In June, a tiger family that was caught near Alexei-Nikolskoye village this spring has moved into the spacious enclosure that was occupied by recently released tigers Saikhan and Lazovka.  In the meantime the vacant enclosures will undergo a planned inspection and renovation.

In the new residence, a tiger mother Kazachka and her two cubs Martha and Zaika examined the area with interest. Soon they hunted rabbits that were released into the enclosure. The cubs, which were not given names yet, have grown up and become stronger over the spring. Specialists at the rehabilitation centre say that young predators are still very cautious and spend much of their time in a thicket. When hunting ungulates, the group is normally led by the adult tigress, but when the prey is not so large the young tigresses would cope on their own.

Specialists at the centre believe that if the tigress continues to show motherly care for her cubs and her behaviour does not give rise to concerns, the whole family will be released in the most suitable habitat. If the tigress’ behaviour does raise concerns, she and her cubs will have to be separated. The cubs will be released into the wild following rehabilitation while the tigress will remain in captivity forever.

We thank you for the important support of the Amur tigers’ rehabilitation!

(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
(c) MRNCO "Tiger Centre"
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
 
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