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Премия рунета 2017

Local people help fight poaching in Tyva Republic

17 june 2021
Residents of Mongun-Taiginsky District of the Republic of Tyva established a voluntary brigade to combat poaching, headed by the Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve and WWF Russia with support of Presidential Grants Foundation

This spring Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve and voluntary rangers of the Mongun-Taiginsky region of the Tyva Republic had 3 joint raids in the protected zone of the reserve, destroyed 4 traps and 8 snares in the habitats of snow leopards and Altai mountain sheep - rare flag species of Altai-Sayan Ecoregion, examined 10 cars and checked 27 people, conducted interviews with 28 local residents. The rangers talked with local people about the hunting rules and responsibility for poaching, drew up 14 protocols on an administrative offense.

Voluntary rangers and rangers of Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina Nature Reserve
(c) WWF / Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve

While checking a camera trap in one of the settlements, inspectors and volunteers found footage of a snow leopard that had passed here the day before the arrival of the community members. In the morning, while patrolling the territory, the raid participants suddenly saw a snow leopard through binoculars with their own eyes. An animal noticed people and left, most likely, it was the same snow leopard, which was captured by an automatic camera.

 

 

Snow leopard captured by camera trap
(c) WWF / Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve

The voluntary brigade to combat poaching, with focus on snow leopard, was established in Mongun-Taiginsky district of the Tuva Republic in 2020. The area is one of the key habitats of the rare snow leopard in Tuva. The work of local volunteers is coordinated by the protection department of the Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve. Volunteers together with rangers patrol the territory of the region, install and check automatic cameras, report on the encountered environmental violations - traps, snares, poachers.

“The voluntary rangers do not have official duties like the police or the rangers but the help of volunteers saves the resources and time of the environmental organizations. For example, volunteers use their personal transport: UAZ cars, ATVs. We patrol the territory together on foot and by cars for 3-4 people in a group”, says Vladimir Buuruldai, deputy director of the Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve, coordinator of the public brigade of the Mongun-Taiginsky district of the Tyva Republic.

Last year WWF with support of the Presidential Grants Foundation donated field uniforms, binoculars, a camera, camera traps, backpacks, and other equipment as well as fuel for raids to the voluntary rangers. Moreover, the community activists were trained on the basics of legislation and raiding activities. 

Voluntary rangers during the raid.
(c) WWF / Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve
“This spring the local residents of the Mongun-Taiginsky region observed the real work of volunteer rangers and Ubsunursksys Kotlovina Nature Reserve. A lot of villagers are ready to provide information assistance and want to join voluntary brigade”, says Vladimir Buuruldai, deputy director of the Ubsunurskaya Kotlovina nature reserve, coordinator of the Mongun-Taiginsky public brigade district of the Republic of Tuva.
The project is being implemented using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for the development of civil society provided by the Presidential Grants Foundation.
For additional information please contact
Altai-Sayan ecoregional press-officer
Senior Project Coordinator