Primorye in the South of the Russian Far East represents the only area in the world where both Siberian / Amur tigers and leopards still exist in the wild. In spite of a relative stabilisation of the tiger numbers, the striped predators still face many threats: they are being poached for their pelts; human encroachment, habitat destruction, and prey depletion drive tigers to human settlements and endanger lives of both man and tiger. To strengthen conservation of the Amur tigers, their habitat and prey and ensure the long-term survival of the tigers in Primorye, Russian Far East, Phoenix Fund run a project that combines environmental law enforcement, ecological education and outreach.
Since 2003 the state nature conservation and environmental law enforcement agencies in Russia have undergone constant reform. In order to offset this, since 2001 Phoenix, with support from the international community, created public environmental law enforcement teams to enhance the protection work of the state agencies.
Apart from regular patrols, the teams also organise outreach activities at schools. The public teams helped reveal hundreds of environmental violations and initiate dozens of criminal proceedings in nature protection field. The tiger’s future in the Russian Far East is very much tied up with its relationship to people. This requires the involvement of the public, which can be achieved through continuous ecological education and outreach activities in the region.
Phoenix supports a number of ecological centres in the region to foster positive attitudes towards nature through regular educational and outreach lessons, lectures, slide presentations, hikes and other events for children and adults.
The combination of continuous environmental law enforcement, conflict cases resolution and ecological education and outreach will help ensure the protection of the Amur tiger in the wild and its habitat.
During 2008-9 plans include:
- Anti-poaching and habitat protection activities of the public environmental investigation team and coordination of anti-poaching activities in tiger habitat;
- Ecological education and outreach activities at three eco-centres in Terney, Partizansk and Kirovka towns,
- Tiger Day Festival in Terney town, Northern Primorye