Phoenix. Amur tiger conservation in Verkhnebikinski wildlife refuge 2005 - 06
Primorye in the south of the Russian Far East represents the only area in the world where both Amur tigers and leopards still exits in the world. The insatiable demand for tiger parts appears to be the main driving force behind the poaching and traffic with habitat loss and predator conflicts also increasing.
Saving the Amur tiger depends ultimately on the Russian people, especially those living within the tiger habitat. With less than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, environmental education and outreach can play a major role in tiger conservation. This Phoenix project focused on local people and younger generations.
• Increased awareness among local people and authorities about the importance of wildlife and habitat conservation. Primorsky region administration got into contact with indigenous people and environmental NGOs to solve local ecological problems. A newly established Primorsky Department of Protected Territories, in spite of staff shortage, started its work. Local Udege and other concerned people became more active in protection of human rights and nature conservation.
• Enhanced protection of the tiger prey populations and habitat in Northern Primorye. State and public rangers managed to conduct many-day patrols inside and along the Verkhnebikinsky wildlife refuge’s borders to suppress poaching and illegal woodcutting.
• The Governor of Primorsky krai assured that no woodcutting would take place in the upper Bikin River, especially in Verkhnebikinsky wildlife refuge. Nowadays, this territory is considered as an ideal place for development of ecological tourism.