Western Wildlife Manager's Team 2007 - 2011
This Project is fully-funded by Kolmarden Fundraising Foundation..
Primorye in the south of the Russian Far East represents the only area in the world where both Amur/Siberian tigers and leopards still exist in the wild. However, this magnificent species is under great threat from the insatiable demand for tiger parts which appears to be the main driving force behind poaching and traffic. In addition, human actions, deliberate or negligent, continue to shrink, fragment and degrade forests, existing and potential tiger habitats.
This Phoenix project aims to strengthen the protection of tiger habitat and populations.
To struggle with poaching and strengthen protection activities in tiger habitat Phoenix supports anti-poaching activities of various state environmental law enforcement agencies, including the Western wildlife managers’ team of Primorsky Hunting Management Department. The team operates in the north of Primorye (Krasnoarmeisky, Dalnerechensky, Pozharsky, Kirovsky and Terneisky districts), still rich in wildlife and cedar forests.
Changes in forest management in recent years as a result of administrative reform in Russia, has led to the devolvement of law enforcement powers from federal to local authority.Since January 2008 the local Primorsky Krai government became responsible for protection of both forests and fauna within the province and Rosselkhoznadsor (Russian Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Monitoring Service) was empowered to control the new Game and Rare Species Department (GRSD) and check how inspectors in the Hunting Management Department protect forest and wildlife resources.
In 2010 the team showed good results and conducted 98 anti-poaching patrols, issued 63 citations on violations of nature conservation laws such as illegal logging and poaching and seized 15 illegal firearms.
The funding of the Western Wildlife Managers by Kolmarden Fundraising Foundation aims to strengthen the combined efforts of the state and public anti-poaching teams to ensure sound protection for the tiger habitat and populations.
This is a fully funded project.
The Wildlife managers team operates in Krasnoarmeisky district, the North of Primorye, still rich in wildlife and cedar forests. Recently, the area has become a hotbed for setting up logging practices and trade due to its proximity to the Chinese border.
Primorye in the south of the Russian Far East represents the only area in the world where the Siberian tiger still exists in the wild. However, this magnificent species has become threatened in recent years. The insatiable demand for tiger parts is the major driving force behind this trend, but the erosion of habitats, increasing human-tiger conflicts and the illegal hunting of tiger prey are all having a terrible impact. Only an estimated 10% of the tiger population is living in protected areas, this is clearly not enough to sustain the population.
The team operated in Krasnoarmeisky district, the North of Primorye, still rich in wildlife and cedar forests. Thanks to support from the Kolmarden Fund Raising Foundation, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and 21st Century Tiger
This report contains information about the anti-poaching project in Udege Legend National Park. Thanks to timely support from the Kolmarden Fund Raising Foundation, the Park's staff managed to protect wildlife in severe winter conditions.
In October 2009, the Wildlife Conservation Society reported about Amur tiger's decline by 40% compared to 2005 estimates due to poaching. It is an alarming signal urging conservationists and decision-makers of all tiger range countries to strengthen tiger conservation efforts through anti-poaching activities as well as environmental education. Thus, the Phoenix Fund continues supporting work of state environmental law enforcement officers, public inspectors and staff members of protected areas who conduct anti-poaching activities in Primorye.
During the reported period the Western Wildife Management Team achieved good results, but the team's leader Alexander Samoilenko believes that the outcomes could have been much better. According to him, low fines for wildlife crimes (up to $33) reduce their protection efforts to zero. "A hunter can pay a low fine and poach again", Alexander says. "As a rule, nowadays poachers are equipped with all-terrain vehicles (4WD jeeps, snowmobiles, paragliders), as well as firearms and communication devices and are therefore much better than law enforcement officers. And for such poachers a fine of $33 is a mere thing. More drastic measures need to be taken. We need tougher sanctions such as revocation of hunt permit or imposition of high fines for wildlife crimes. And there has to be strong political will to conserve tigers". Phoenix will continue to endeavour to increase the deterrents.
Final report on the anti-poaching activities of the Western wildlife managers' team, January 1st -December 31st 2011.