Mini-reserves for tigers appeared in hunting leases of the Russian Far East
Game resources protection zones (GRPZ) are the plots of different square shapes that according to the lease regulation should be delineated by game users. These plots are meant to create favorable conditions for habitation and breeding of game animals. In such “mini-reserves” the area of which can vary from 5% and up the hunting leases introduce restrictions in game resources use. These limitations can be partial or absolute.
The total area of the Amur tiger habitats in the Russian Far East is around 180 000 square kilometers out of which less than 20% are covered by protected areas of different levels while the rest 80% are leased by users of different nature resources including game species.
The analysis of these zones in tiger habitats conducted by WWF revealed that not always these zones are delineated in the plots optimal for protection of game or rare species. Moreover, sometimes GRPZ are chosen contrary to reason. WWF experts have proposed new principles for GRPZ delineation and creation of a network which became part of the official Primorsky Province Inter-Lease Hunting Management Plan. According to the document, the zones of adjacent hunting leases should be combined into groups, or serve as corridors, or be adjacent to the existing protected areas.
Among next planned joint activities of WWF and game users to manage natural resources use sustainably is the formation of an inter-lease group of public inspectors to patrol the leased areas.
Amur tiger conservation efforts in the Russian Far East are supported by WWF and the Amur Tiger Center.