Amur tiger conservation in Verkhnebikinsky Wildlife Refuge 2004- 05
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 the Verkhnebikinsky (Upper Bikin) Wildlife Refuge in Northern Primorye.
The main aims were to strengthen anti-poaching activities, record wildlife crimes and report them for action by authorities and educate the public about the importance of wildlife conservation.
This first year of the project resulted in a number of anti-poaching patrols, revealed ecological violations and checked records and permits of vehicles and hunters. The teams carried out essential work in marking the borders of the park and reported on illegal logging. Some events described in the report were featured on a local TV channel. Most attention was paid to contacts with local people to gain their support and get them involved in conservation work.