Lazovsky Zapovednik in the south-east of Primorsky region, Southern Russian Far East, on the Sea of Japan, was established in 1935. The Lazovsky Nature Reserve is the most important area for Amur tiger conservation in the southern Sikhote-Alin. For the last 20 years, the Reserve has maintained the highest tiger density in southern Primorye and one of the highest in the whole tiger habitat. Nowadays there are about 10-12 resident or constantly visiting tigers.
As a state organisation, this reserve lacks sufficient government funding for the efficient protection of its unique biodiversity. Phoenix has funded a nine-man anti-poaching team supporting other antipoaching teams and cooperating with wildlife managers’ teams of Hunting Management Department, public environmental investigation teams, forest managers and police officers.The team is specially trained and equipped to conduct anti-poaching patrols and to investigate human-tiger conflicts.
Funding support for this project started in 2005. In 2007, the Lazovsky Nature Reserve received its award as one of the best nature conservation organisations in the Russian Far East.
Between September 2009 and August 2010 the team recorded 39 violations in trespassing, breaches of hunting and fishing regulations and gathering of wild plants. It also seized three shotguns and initiated three criminal proceedings on sika deer poaching.
In the five years to August 2010, teams revealed more than 230 violations, confiscated 26 illegal weapons, initiated 19 criminal proceedings and extinguished 19 forest fires in the territory. Since then more violations have been recorded, with weapons handed over to the police and two more criminal proceedings initiated.
Teams have recently focused closely on coastal areas, where they have spotted poachers hunting deer from boats at night and only landing when an animal is killed. They have run boat patrols and set up observation posts in bays where poachers are likely to show up in an attempt to stamp out these activities.
This project was fully-funded by Dreamworld.