Beekeepers and hunters united efforts to preserve honey-bearing forests of Primorye
Game users and beekeepers began joint patrolling of valuable forests in Anuchinsky and Yakovlevsky districts of Primorye and meeting partners for sustainable development and protection of honey-bearing plants. The unique location at the junction of several natural zones at once has formed the richest flora of the south of the Russian Far East: about 3000 higher vascular plants, including more than 40 melliferous plants, including 3 linden species, Amur cork, Kalopanax and others. Due to the large number of honey-bearing plants and a longer flowering process, the honey yield here is 2-3 times higher than in the western regions of Russia.
Unfortunately, in recent decades, unsustainable felling of the most valuable trees (often due to mining operations) has had a strong negative impact on forest ecosystems in the southern Far East. WWF-Russia studies show that, on average, every third oak and ash tree in the south of the Far East is harvested illegally, and in some years the volume of export by 2-4 times exceeded the volume of officially permitted cut. A similar situation was revealed in the harvesting of linden.
In 2018, WWF-Russia appealed to the provincial authorities to urgently take measures to preserve the Far Eastern lindens - Amur, Manchurian and Take species. Priority steps were supported by the Governor of the Primorsky province. In 2019, special “no take zones” appeared in the Primorsky Forest Plan in which the felling of linden is prohibited.
However, the high demand and market price for linden wood leads to illegal logging of linden, including within the “no take zones”.
To solve this problem a public anti-poaching brigade is formed out of game users and beekeepers. These categories of forest users are interested in preserving honey-bearing trees and preventing illegal logging of linden and other valuable species. The brigade will operate on the territory of three model hunting clubs.
The adopted regulations for involving the active community in volunteer activities in the forest - the corps of public forest inspectors, which are currently being created, will also be a good help. For this, at the end of 2020, WWF Russia, together with the Ministry of Forestry and Hunting Management of Primorsky province organized a training for game users and beekeepers to combat illegal logging. The certificates of public inspectors will allow them to carry out not only the protection of game resources, but also to identify illegal logging.