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 Animals  Russia Project #6144

Help Save Last 30 Amur Leopards from Extinction

by Phoenix Fund
Help Save Last 30 Amur Leopards from Extinction
(c) Land of the Leopard
(c) Land of the Leopard

Dear supporters, below we present you the report on activities of the law enforcement team protecting the Amur leopard habitat. We thank you for your donations that made this work possible!

In June 2019, the team of central subordination carried out 26 anti-poaching patrols and made ambushes in order to deal with poachers who hunt deer over salt-licks. A new ranger, Evgeny, joined the team on June 17.

On June 8, the team together with the Northern team set forth on a multi-day patrol during which the rangers patrolled on foot and made ambushes around salt licks. They made a stop near the Nezhinka River.  

On June 9, the rangers heard a sound of engine and made an ambush. Later on, they saw a vehicle approaching the ambush site. The rangers made an attempt to block the road and stop the vehicle, but the violator was not about to stop. Instead, he continued driving his car and even hit one of the rangers. Luckily the ranger was not hurt seriously. The violator speeded up, destroyed the blockage, and disappeared. A criminal case was initiated according to the article 318 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The violator and the vehicle were identified.  

On June 11, while patrolling around Bamburovsky firing range the team discovered a hemp field and a salt lick. It was decided to set a camera trap close to the hemp field in order to find out who had a hand in those illegal activities.    

On June 11, the team discovered a salt lick that was frequently visited by wild animals. It was decided to carry out surprise visits there on a regular basis. Up to date, no violators were spotted there.

On June 25, the team saw a car parked near the border of the Land of the Leopard National Park. When the rangers came closer to the car, a drunken man got out of it and asked the rangers not to go into the forest. The rangers decided to check what was happening in the forest and followed the foot prints. When they heard a sound of a chainsaw, they thought that illegal loggers were working there. But later, the rangers met hivers who were mowing round the territory. As it turned out, they had approvals to work there.

In late June there was rainy weather, therefore the team mostly patrolled by vehicle and made ambushes near the rivers.

No conflict cases between people and big predators were recorded.

In July, the team continued patrolling the assigned territory in order to prevent and reveal any crimes there. The rangers carried out 26 anti-poaching patrols. During the month, the rangers mostly made ambushes and patrolled on the Narva and Poima rivers. Also, the team monitored the territory of Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve in order to prevent ginseng root gatherers to enter the protected area. Probably due to showery weather in July no ginseng root gatherers were spotted. A few camera traps were installed by rangers at salt licks, but no violators were detained. Water level of local rivers increased due to incessant rains, therefore the rangers paid special attention to Narva, Poima and Barabashevka rivers.

On July 13, the rangers discovered a broken lock which was placed on barrier gates crossing a path towards the Narva River. It was decided to make ambushes there, but no violator was apprehended.

While patrolling along the Narva River, the rangers discovered a salt-lick and decided to make ambushes there. They spent a few patrol days there, but no violators were spotted. No violator’s footprints were found. A camera trap was set up andhidden in order to get a better understanding of what goes on there.

(c) Land of the Leopard
(c) Land of the Leopard
(c) Phoenix Fund
(c) Phoenix Fund

Thanks to your support the team continued to safeguard the Amur leopard habitat in the reported months. Below we present you a detailed report on their work.

In February, the team carried out 25 anti-poaching patrols to protect the Land of the Leopard National Park. In total, the team covered about 250 km. During the month, the rangers focused on conducting foot patrols and monitoring of forest fires. As a result, the rangers managed to detect a few incipient fires and immediately extinguish them.

While patrolling on foot along the Poima River, the rangers spotted a lot of ungulates, namely roe deer, deer, wild boars and discovered an artificial salt-lick. It was decided to put this area under observation in order to prevent any violations there.

In mid-February, the team received information about illegal logging. The rangers used a quadcopter to detect and take photos of illegal logging sites.

In mid-February, the temperature rose from minus 6 degrees Celsius (21.2 °F) to 8 degrees Celsius above zero (47 °F). The Khasan district was hit by strong winds with a maximum speed of 18 meters per second. It led to a series of ignitions. Thanks to joint efforts by rangers and rescue service staffers, all fires were extinguished.

In late February, during a foot patrol, the rangers found the remains of a dead animal which allegedly was killed by a poacher. Also, some signs of campfires and human presence were discovered. It was decided to put this area under regular observation by the team and make ambushes there.  

In March, the team carried out 24 anti-poaching patrols to protect the Land of the Leopard National Park. The team was detecting, responding and monitoring forest fires. From the beginning till mid-March, the rangers detected forest fires almost every day. Also, some fires that started right on the territory of the national park were put out promptly. Some fires were also extinguished with snow which fell on those areas in mid-March. The snow significantly reduced forest fires, but fire outbreaks continued to occur. The team conducted foot patrols and night ambushes.

After shooting practice on Bamburovsky firing range, some ignitions occurred in the Land of the Leopard National Park. Upon arrival at the scene of an emergency, the rangers discovered that a manual barrier was destroyed, and access to the protected area was opened. The fire was put out immediately.

During a foot patrol on March 23, the team found an abandoned building with dead little deer. No signs of gunshot wounds on the body of the dead animal were discovered. Probably, the animal got there accidently and could not find its way out because of high walls of the building.

Between March 25 and 27, the rangers attended a drone seminar and refreshed their knowledge of basic rules for drone flights, learned about special programs that help use drones at night, and conducted test flights at various weather conditions.

In April, the team carried out 25 anti-poaching patrols to protect the Land of the Leopard National Park. During the month, the rangers paid special attention to foot patrols and ambushes. Also, the team continued fire monitoring on the territory of the national park.

When patrolling on foot near the Barabashevka River, the rangers discovered new places where trespassers entered the park. No signs of illegal activity were found.

When patrolling in the vicinity to Filippovka village, the rangers also discovered new places where local people entered the national park.

Later on, while patrolling near Filippovka village, the rangers found a deer skin. It was decided to take the territory under control. As a result, the rangers carried out foot patrols and mad night ambushes there on a regular basis.

During a foot patrol along the Narva River, the team spotted an Amur tiger. The animal was calm and did not show aggression.

Also, later on, the team encountered with a brown bear. The animal was frightened and run away.

In late April, when the team was patrolling on foot near Bamburoivsky firing range, the rangers found a deer skin and took the territory under control.

(c) LOLNP
(c) LOLNP

In December, the team continued patrolling the assigned territory, mostly near Filippovka and Bamburovo villages and Narvinsky firing range in order to prevent and reveal poaching. The rangers carried out 27 patrols. In total, the team covered about 200 km on foot.

During the month, the team patrolled the area on a regular basis, but no violators were apprehended. In the second half of December the team obtained information about poaching at the national park near Bamburovo railway station. However, when patrolling the territory, no signs of illegal entry were found.

With record drought and warm temperatures prevailed in December, strong winds increased forest fire risk in the national park. The team monitored the territory on a regular basis and was on the alert.

No conflict cases with tigers, leopards or other predators were recorded.

In January, the team carried out 25 anti-poaching patrols to protect the Land of the Leopard National Park. In total, the team covered about 250 km. During patrols, the rangers patrolled park grounds by vehicle and on foot, enforced park rules and regulations, and issued citations on violators. In January, the team paid special attention to the par areas adjoining human settlements and made sure that visitors were not involved in any illegal activities in the park. Mostly, the rangers patrolled near Bamburovsky firing range, Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve, and Narvinsky firing range. Also, the team made night ambushes.

While patrolling near Bamburovsky firing range, a group of people was apprehended for illegal presence in the park and taken to Khasansky police office for further investigation. The apprehended people were suspected to be involved in poaching. Moreover, during the apprehension the men threatened park rangers. A criminal case was initiated according to Article 258 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

When patrolling on foot near Bamburovsky firing range, the team discovered an artificial salt-lick and decided to make an ambush there in order to detain violators. No person was spotted there.

In January, the team took part in the Fourth Tiger Habitat Ranger Competition organised by WWF in China. Among the participants, there were 17 teams including 51 rangers from the protected areas of Heilongjiang and Jilin in China and Land of the Leopard National Park in Russia.

(c) LOLNP
(c) LOLNP
(c) LOLNP
(c) LOLNP
(c) Land of the Leopard
(c) Land of the Leopard

Dear supporters,

Thanks to your continuous support, the Phoenix Fund carried on assisting the Land of the Leopard National Park’s administration in improving law enforcement efforts at the protected area.

In September, the team patrolled consisting of four rangers. Michail Rubai broke his leg and was on sick leave. The team paid special attention to spawning rivers, such as Narva, Poima, Kedrovka and Barabashevka rivers due to the start of spawning season. In the first half of September, cherry salmon run started. Thanks to good protection and heavy precipitation, fish could swim to the upper reaches of rivers where they spawn.

During one of patrols, the rangers detained violators on a motorbike near the Pugachevka River. They had a permit to visit the Land of the Leopard National Park, but did not have permission to enter by a car and park it on the protected area. An administrative citation was issued.

While patrolling the Barabashevka River, the team detained a man without a permit to visit the protected area. An administrative citation was issued on the violator.

In September, Sergei Ivanov Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport visited the Land of the Leopard National Park. All the teams, including the team of central subordination, demonstrated their skills.

Besides patrolling rivers, the team also regularly patrolled Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve and the territory of Gamov deer farm.

In October, the team patrolled paying much attention to spawning rivers. In all, the team conducted 25 anti-poaching patrols. About ten administrative citations were issued on unauthorized presence in the national park.

Special attention was paid to weekends and nighttime. The team of central subordination also assisted other teams patrolling on spawning rivers. Moreover, there were a number of joint patrols with fishing inspectors along the Narva River.

In October, two criminal proceedings were initiated against two poachers apprehended near Barabashevka River.

Besides patrolling along spawning rivers, the team also patrolled other territories of Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve and Land of the Leopard National Park in order to prevent trespassing. During one of those patrols, the team visited Bogataya Fanza Cave.

In November the team switched to an enhanced regime of forest protection due to the anticipated increase in poaching after the first snow.

Enhanced protection of the park’s territory primarily implied an increase in the number of road and foot patrols by rangers including conducting joint patrols with law enforcement agencies.

Last weekend a large-scale patrol was organized in the national park together with employees of the Vladivostok forestry of the Forestry Department of the Primorsky Territory.

During the survey the southern part of the Land of the Leopard was inspected. And although this time during the patrol no violations were revealed, active work in this direction will continue.

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

We are glad to report that poachers took a summer break and don't enter the territory of the Land of the Leopard. 

From July through mid September, the team of central subordination continued patrolling the assigned territory. In all, the team conducted 51 anti-poaching patrols.

In the beginning of July, the team conducted a number of joint patrols with border guards. No violations were revealed. On July 17, during one of those patrols tiger tracks were discovered near the frontier post.

In August, a number of big typhoons caused a rise in water level. Given that, fish poachers appeared on the rivers. Two administrative citations were issued upon violators on the Brusya and Narva rivers. On August 22, during a foot patrol between Filippovka and Primorsky villages the rangers discovered quad bike tyre tracks and took measures to prevent illegal entry by violators.

In the end of August, the team mostly patrolled along the Narva river. During one of such patrols, the rangers apprehended a man from Slavyanka town and issued an administrative citation. Also, while patrolling along the Brusya river, the team discovered and removed two fishing nets.

Taking into account that chum salmon in large numbers enter the rivers in Khasan district in September, the team conducted patrols mostly along the spawning rivers, namely Barabashevka, Narva, Poima, Brysya, Kedrovka and others.

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

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Organization Information

Phoenix Fund

Location: Vladivostok, Primorski Krai - Russia
Website:
Project Leader:
Sergei Bereznuk
Vladivostok, Primorsky krai Russia
$113,154 raised of $130,000 goal
 
2,040 donations
$16,846 to go
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