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Three new research stations are equipped in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve to study the Amur tiger

18 october 2022
On October 14, 2022, on the occasion of the Day of Protected Area Workers, 3 new research stations, built with the support of WWF-Russia, were handed over to the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve to study the Amur tiger
“Such permanent infrastructure is the most important “basis” for nature reserves and national parks. The appearance of these sites, equipped for a comfortable stay of inspectors and researchers, makes the research work and patrolling of the territory more productive and effective. In recent years, the government and public organizations have given particular attention to the renovation of the existing infrastructure and creation of new facilities in protected areas. WWF-Russia also contributed to this important work, and we are glad that we managed to implement this project through joint efforts. I am sure that new cabins will become a comfort home for people who study the Amur tiger and ensure its protection in these important remote corners of the nature reserve. We plan to continue providing support for such projects”, commented Peter Osipov, head of WWF-Russia Amur branch.
Svetlana Sutyrina, director of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve and Alexei Kostyrya, W
Svetlana Sutyrina, director of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve and Alexei Kostyrya, W
All stations are designed according to a single project
New research stations are equipped in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve to study the Amur tiger
Vadim Shkodin / WWF-Russia

The Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve is one of the oldest and the largest protected areas in the Amur tiger range, and plays a key role for the rare predator conservation in general. Over many years of the reserve's existence, a unique network of more than 50 infrastructure facilities such as patrol stations, scientific cabins, taiga huts, has been created both along the borders and deep inside the protected area to ensure the comfortable work for inspectors and researchers. Many of these facilities were built in the second half of the last century and have been worn out and required renovation.

This year, thanks to the efforts of the nature reserve staff and WWF’s support, new scientific stations have been equipped in three sites of the protected area: Ust-Serebryany located in the central part (at the mouth of the Serebryany spring), Kuruma - in the southern part (in the Kuruma riverbed), and Sagdievskaya - in the northwest (on the banks of the Columbe river). Each station is a spacious building made of wood, adapted for year-round use.
According to Svetlana Sutyrina, director of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve: “A wide network of cordons on the territory of the nature reserve is an opportunity for our staff to study the wildlife of Sikhote-Alin in every corner as well as right in the core of the reserve. All new cabins are designed according to a single project and are adapted for living up to 5-6 people at any time of the year. The inspectors who patrol this area, our research officers or visiting scientists who conduct their research here will be able to stop here. We plan to continue renovate the infrastructure in other parts of the reserve. Moreover, we plan to provide the most visited cordons and stations with small power systems with solar panels. We hope that with the WWF’s support we will be able to implement this project”.
WWF and the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve has been working in cooperation for many years. In the late 90s, the Sikhote-Alin NR became one of the first "tiger" reserves in Russia and one of the first anti-poaching brigades was created here with WWF’s support. At the same time, the Blagodatnoye patrol station was built on the Plastun-Terney highway with WWF’s help, which provides round-the-clock protection of the 24 km section of the highway crossing the reserve. This year, at the request of the nature reserve, WWF provided funds for the installation of a solar energy generating system with a total capacity of 5.5 kW, which provides regular power supply to the patrol station. This will make the work of the inspectors who are on duty at the patrol station around the clock more comfortable and ensure the use of additional equipment to monitor the situation on the highway.
New solar energy generating system for the stations
Vadim Shkodin / WWF Russia
Due to its large area, the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve is home to most of the Amur tiger group in the Central Sikhote-Alin mountain range. Since 2006, along with the traditional winter counts, camera traps have been used in the nature reserve to study the Amur tiger and its prey base. In 2014, with WWF’s support, the camera trap monitoring network was expanded to the territory of the Udege Legend National Park, and in 2017, photo monitoring also covered the Sidatun hunting lease bordering the reserve and the national park.
Comments Alexei Kostyria, Ph.D., head of the rare species conservation department of WWF-Russia Amur Branch: “Tigers know no boundaries, and it is clear that predators that live in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, especially males, often travel far beyond its borders. For this reason, in order to understand the state of the entire local grouping and the processes that affect it, it is necessary to cover with camera traps as large area as possible. Thanks to well-organized scientific cooperation and regular exchange of data with neighboring territories, it was possible to form the largest unified monitoring site in the Amur tiger range with a total area of more than 1 million hectares. This allows us to track and study the interaction between tigers living on the territory of the reserve, national park and adjacent territories”.