We wanted to express our sincere gratitude for your invaluable support of the Amur leopard conservation project during these years! Together we made the obvious successes in preserving the rarest cats on Earth: now more than 100 leopards live in Russia, although at the beginning of the 21st century, there were three times as few.
Four hundred camera traps installed in Land of the Leopard National Park, its protected zone and the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve provide specialists with terabytes of material from a total area of almost 369,000 hectares. The park employees manually processed over 700,000 photos taken in a year. Specialists analysed selected photos of leopards by using special software that allows them to identify each animal by its individual spot pattern.
The Amur leopard population grew thanks to comprehensive measures, including enhanced security, intensive fire-prevention measures and outreach. We are happy to report that the protected area will continue to show their effectiveness in law enforcement and work with SMART without our assistance from now on.
“In addition to 110 adult animals, specialists recorded 16 cubs, but they give a personal ID number and a place in the database only to those leopards who have left their mothers and started an independent life. It is the number of adult leopards that determines the population condition,” said Anna, an employee of Land of the Leopard research department.
There were only about 35 Amur leopards in Russia in the early 21st century. Joined efforts of the rangers of the Land of the Leopard National Park, scientists, NGOs, and supporters as you helped to increase their population.
In June 2022, the task force of the central subordination carried out raid activities on the territory of the Land of the Leopard National Park. The goals and objectives of the work remained the same: identification and prompt suppression of violations of environmental legislation in the territory of the national park.
For a month, the priority task of the team was to search for the places where violators install special structures (“salt licks”) for feeding ungulates. Additional, but no less important tasks of the team were aimed at protecting the water area of the Far Eastern Marine Biosphere State Nature Reserve. Under special control was the Gamow Peninsula and a 500-meter protected zone on land along the coastline of the Far Eastern Marine Biosphere Reserve. For greater coverage of the territory, rangers used quad bikes.
At the beginning of the month, the Day of the Ecologist was celebrated, on this day the Nerpichya Bay was cleared of debris. After cleaning, several members of the group were awarded certificates of honor in connection with the professional holiday "Environmentalist's Day".
The team of central subordination was on duty on a boat in the waters of the marine reserve, while the rest of the teams monitored the territory of the Gamovsky cluster. Thanks to the joint work of all rangers, violations of the rules for staying in the protected area were revealed.
Within a month, the team detained two divers in the area of the island of De - Livron and in the buffer zone of the marine reserve. Both offenders were taken to Salvation Bay, where reports were drawn up against them and their diving equipment was confiscated.
At the end of the month, a salt lick was discovered near the Narva River, several members of the team were sent into an ambush with a tent for 3 days. At this time, other rangers were sent to monitor the waters of the marine reserve.
The reserve "Kedrovaya Pad" did not remain without the attention of long-term foot raids and was under special control.
During this period, no conflict situations with tigers, leopards and other predators were recorded.
In July 2022, the team carried out raids on the territory of the Land of the Leopard Federal State Budgetary Institution. For a month, the priority task of the team remained the same - to search for and destroy the places where violators install “salt licks”. An additional, but no less important task was to clean up such rivers as Narva, Barabashevka, Brusya and Kedrovaya from traces of illegal activities of violators. Several fishing nets were destroyed. During the month, due to changes in weather conditions, regular rafting was carried out on the Narva and Barabashevka rivers.
Another important task was to work with seasonal offenders (tourists without special permits) in the marine reserve, the protected zone of the marine reserve and the Gamow cluster. The controlled territory on the Gamow Peninsula was divided into sections for the effective implementation of control and supervisory activities, for which the administrative department drew up a duty schedule for operational teams. Also, monitoring of the territory adjacent to Filippovka, Bamburovo and the area of the Narvinsky landfill was carried out to reveal the presence of seasonal violators (mushroom pickers and fishermen).
At the beginning of the month, training was conducted on the installation and updating of anti-poaching camera traps.
At the end of the month, the team was sent on a patrol to the area of the Poima River, where, according to the assumption, illegal activities were carried out. Despite unfavorable weather conditions, the rangers spent several days in ambush. During a planned foot patrol, an unknown citizen was noticed. After setting up an ambush, the team managed to detain the intruder. He carried an unregistered 16-gauge double-barreled shotgun of an unknown manufacturer and one brass cartridge. After compiling the administrative report, the violator was taken to the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Khasansky district.
In August, the team of central subordination continued patrolling the assigned territory jointly with other Park’s teams.
On August 11, during a foot patrol between Filippovka and Primorsky villages the rangers discovered quad bike tire tracks and took measures to prevent illegal entry by violators in future.
From August 15th through August 18th, the team conducted a joint patrol with the South team in order to prevent illegal gathering of ginseng roots. During the patrol, the rangers discovered a few abandoned camps. No violators were detained. The 4-day-patrol proved that people still illegally penetrate into Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve, and go not far from roads so that they could quickly leave the protected area to avoid being arrested. 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 Pugachevka river, the team discovered and removed three fishing nets.
In January 2022, the team carried out 22 anti-poaching patrols, some of which were conducted in cooperation with police officers.
On January 12, the team received information about a fire on Stolovaya hill in the Land of the Leopard National Park. Upon arrival, the inspectors discovered a large fire. Strong gusty wind blowing from sea to land and marshland with high and thick reeds hindered the efforts of the team to put out the fire. It took a few hours before it was extinguished. When examining the burned area, the inspectors determined that the fire was an act of arson. The fire burned about 30 hectares.
It is worth mentioning that due to the continued lack of adequate snow cover it was hard for the inspectors to reveal trespassing. That is why it was decided to increase the number of ambushes at places where poaching was most likely to occur. In winter hunters may shoot the prey out of a car. In this connection, the team had to show up regularly on public roads in order to prevent such violations.
In February, the team continued patrolling the protected area in order to prevent or reveal poaching and protect the area from forest fires. Overall, the inspectors carried out 24 patrols and extinguished two fires. Due to increased number of fires inside the national park, in order to be able to respond promptly, effectively and safely to wildfires it was decided to reduce the distance of foot patrols and patrol mostly in areas where fires were likely to occur. Also, they gave three lectures on careful attitude towards nature at schools in Zanadvorovka and Barabash villages. In addition, the team set up information signs and repaired a patrol vehicle.
In March, the team of central subordination continued patrolling the protected area in order to prevent any violations of environmental laws. Most patrols were carried out during daylight hours due to high fire-risk season. Sometimes, the patrols were conducted in cooperation with gamekeepers of adjacent hunting leases. In all, the team carried out 22 patrols and extinguished 3 forest fires.
From September through December 2021, the rangers conducted 103 anti-poaching patrols in the Land of the Leopard.
In September, the team focused their efforts on monitoring spawning rivers and preventing poaching, especially in the vicinity to Filippovka village. During the first half of September, the team made ambushes near hand-made salt licks discovered earlier in Kedrovay Pad Nature Reserve. Also, the rangers patrolled along the Narva River to prevent unauthorized presence of anglers.
While patrolling near Filippovka village, tracks left by motor bike was found. As a result, a few ambushes were made, but not violators were revealed. It was decided to conduct regular patrols and make ambushes there in October.
In October, the team conducted 26 anti-poaching patrols with main focus on spawning rivers, such as Barabashevka, Narva and Brusya rivers. Besides, the rangers carried out foot patrols around human settlements – Filippovka, Ovchinnikovo and Bamburovo villages - in order to prevent illegal penetration into the national park. It is worth mentioning that in October people mostly concentrated around the spawning rivers compared with other months when people also went into the forest.
After a number of ambushes on the Barabashevka River, the team succeeded in detention of a violator who illegally caught four chum salmon. A criminal case was initiated upon the violators under the article 256 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
To monitor the territory of the national park, the rangers conducted a few UAV flights.
In November, the team conducted 26 anti-poaching patrols and covered 200-250 km during foot patrols. While patrolling along the Narva River, the rangers issued an administrative citation upon a violator for unauthorized presence in the national park.
When the spawning season closed, the rangers turned their attention to woodlands, especially territories with adjoining villages in order to prevent illegal penetration into the protected area, poaching and other illegal activities. Special attention was paid to the territories near Ovchinnikovo and Filippovka villages with high-level human activity. There, the team conducted frequent foot patrols and made ambushes at night.
Also, the team patrolled road section of Bamburovo-Barabash federal road in order to reveal and prevent road hunting, a practice that is illegal in the Russian Federation.
In December, the team carried out 27 anti-poaching patrols, with frequent foot patrols between Bamburovo village and the Poima River, in order to prevent illegal human activities.
When patrolling around Ovchinnikovo village, the rangers discovered tire tacks indicating that people illegally entered the territory by vehicles. To reveal violators and prevent illegal activities, over the course of several days the team made ambushes at night time. Noviolatorsweredetained.
In December, due to lack of abundant snowfalls and gathering of ungulates in close proximity to public roads, no incidents of illegal hunting from federal roads were registered.
In June 2021, the team of central subordination patrolled the Land of the Leopard National Park. During the month, 26 law enforcement patrols were carried out. The priority task of the team was to find sites where violators are installing special "salt licks" for ungulates feeding. An additional, but no less important task was to track down violators who were engaged in illegal collection of wild plants listed in the Red Data Book. For prompt detection of offenders, camera traps were installed in several areas of the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve and in the area of the Poyma River. The team receives photos from a camera traps in real time through a Telegram bot.
One of the anti-poaching foot patrols in the Kedrovaya Pad nature reserve resulted in the arrest of an intruder who was taken by surprise. An early convicted resident of the Khasansky district collected nine pieces of ginseng root with an intention to sell it abroad (presumably China).
In July and August 2021, the team carried out 53 anti-poaching patrols on the territory of the Land of the Leopard Federal State Budgetary Institution. The goals and objectives of the work remained the same: identification and prompt suppression of violations of environmental legislation on the territory of the National Park.
During these months, the priority task of the team was to prevent illegal salmon fishing as the spawning season began. The areas near rivers Narva, Barabashevka and Brusya were intensely checked and all illegal fishing devices (nets, fishing lines, hook-cats, etc.) were destroyed. For more productive work the team used a boat.
In the middle of the August, the team, together with employees of the Border Directorate of the Federal Security Service, conducted a large-scale anti-poaching raid in the waters of the Far Eastern Marine Reserve (that is now under administration of the Land of the Leopard national park), where several fishing nets were detected and destroyed.
The Kedrovaya Pad reserve did not remain unattended, it was under special control with long foot patrols carried out by the team members.
During the reported period, no conflict situations with tigers, leopards and other predators were recorded.
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