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One more protected area for tigers and leopards created in Primorsky Region
01 november 2019
On October 31, 2019, the provincial Komissarovsky Wildlife Refuge of about 83 000 hectares was established in Primorsky Region with the support of WWF Russia.
“Slowly and surely we embed diamonds into the crown of the protected areas to preserve tigers, leopards and wildlife in general. The resolution of the first international symposium on the Amur leopard conservation held in Vladivostok over 20 years ago! recommended to create a transboundary protected area to preserve the species whose home range would expand. The newly established wildlife refuge is located on the key territory for the tiger and leopard. Well-preserved habitats have sufficiently high carrying capacity for predators. We regularly receive information on encountering tigers and leopards in the Komissarovka River valley, comments Pavel Fomenko, head of rare species conservation unit of WWF Russia Amur branch. Moreover, the neighboring Poltavsky Wildlife Refuge, where WWF has been carrying out monitoring for more than ten years, is home for 3–4 tigers and 4–5 leopards.”
The Komissarovsky Wildlife Refuge was established by the decree of the Primorsky Administration according to the provincial land-use planning scheme. This area is rich in relics of Manchurian flora, mixed broadleaved and coniferous forests, vast forest steppes that were preserved only in the Komissarovka River basin, and is home for 16 species listed in the IUCN Red List, 26 species of the Red Book of the Russian Federation, 23 species from the Red Book of Primorsky Region.
“The refuge borders with two protected areas in China: Fenghuangshan State Nature Reserve and Niaoqingshan County Wildlife Refuge. Now the three PAs form the important ecological corridor enabling the animals exchange between Russia and China”, notes Anna Serdyuk, PhD, protected areas coordinator of WWF Russia Amur branch.
The refuge preserves nature ecosystems; its regulations allow traditionally existing natural resource use for local people. Hunting ban will ensure the high reproduction of game resources and logging ban will provide protection to old-growth forests.
According to Dmitry Pankratov, head of the Primorsky Wildlife Management Department, “Now the Department needs to put a lot of efforts to make the refuge functioning efficiently: to mark its boundaries with information signs, to work with local people, to estimate the number of animals and create a monitoring system, as well as to determine the places where rare cats cross the border, to take measures to increase ungulates numbers and carry out fire-fighting activities.”