Project Name: SMART Protecting Amur Leopards and Tigers in Russia

Location: Russian Far East

Goal: Collaborations to formalise the use of SMART antipoaching protection monitoring and adaptive protection management in six key Russian protected areas

Objective 1: Continue to implement and adapt SMART to the growing needs of administration and staff

Background: These six protected areas, which cover 26,892km2, act as core breeding habitat in the Russian Far East, and are critical for the maintenance of a viable population in this region. The biodiversity of the region is under pressure due to illegal forest resource use, including poaching and illegal logging.

SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) is a monitoring and evaluation tool used to collect and analyse patrol data. It can provide managers with quantitative and geographically-referenced data that helps target law enforcement and improve anti-poaching efforts.  WCS Russia has been working with National Park authorities to help embed SMART since 2015 in other protected areas in the Russian Far East. 

The WCS SMART Program offers rewards for rangers who perform well (as measured with SMART patrol monitoring data), providing important supplements to meagre government salaries.  Support provides essential tools e.g. fuel and spare parts for patrol vehicles, ranger outfits and patrol equipment for conducting effective patrols.

SMART has led to a marked improvement in patrol performance (as measured with the SMART antipoaching patrol monitoring data) at most protected areas where WCS Russia work and provides support where reduced federal government funding for protected areas has shrunk ranger salaries and morale, increased ranger turn-over rate,  resulted in poor vehicle maintenance and a shortage of patrol equipment and fuel for patrol vehicles.

The implementation of poacher cams with clear rapid response systems established greatly increases the detection and apprehension of people entering the forest illegally and is also a key part of this project.

You can see the previous WCS projects funded by WildCats in our Archive

Latest blogs