Leopardovyi federal wildlife refuge under protection
With WWF’s support the group has started regular patrolling of the refuge’s territory.
The refuge covering 160 000 hectares was created in October 2008 in the Far Eastern leopard habitats. Amid transition period when the directorate of the new PA has not been established one of the main goals is to ensure territory protection.
In order to control the situation with poaching in Leopardovyi Federal Service for natural Resources Exploitation for Primorskii Province has made a decision to combine forces of different agencies and organizations like Tiger Inspection, Federal Service of Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Supervision, Primorskii Province PAs Directorate, grassroots activists.
Also officers of road inspection’s check points are of great help – they search vehicles thus not giving opportunities to bring illegal meat out “land of the leopard”.
Though winter hunting season in Primorye was closed on January 15, shots can still be heard particularly in the refuge’s land where hunting is banned by law.
Poachers go hunting not only in the daylight but also in nights using headlight therefore patrolling is being done around a clock.
“The operational group’s work is forced but needed measure. People should know that the area is under protection and that being in Leopardovyi with arms is considered poaching.
Our task is protection of leopard and its prey – wild ungulates, - says Andrei Fereferov, WWF’s coordinator of the leopard conservation project. – And we try to do our best.”