Swedish hunters help conserve Amur tiger
The group consisted of heads of Tigrovoye, Medved, Orlinoye, and Borisovskoye model hunting estates the Amur branch of WWF-Russia has been collaborating with since 2000 to use nature resources sustainably and conserve rare and endangered plants and animals.
“Swedish expertise is very indicative and extremely useful for fast developing game industry in Primorye, - comments Sergei Aramilev, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia’s Amur branch. – I have learned that we are on the right way and that methods for raising wild ungulates numbers which we recommend hunting collectives for use are effective. At the same time it became evident what we should strive for. The experience gained will help achieving one of our main goals – to raise ungulates number so that it will be sufficient both for tiger and human”.
The trip’s itinerary worked out by WWF-Sweden has turned to be very intensive and diversified. Thanks to their efforts the Russian team visited hunting estates in the north and east of the country, National Veterinary Institute, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Hunters Association, the biggest in Scandinavia Kolmården Zoo.
“The trip was extremely useful even for me, professional wildlife biologist, - shares his impressions Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia’s Amur branch. - We have seen unique Swedish experience and expertise based on people’s knowledge and love and care for nature. One of the strongest impressions for me is that game management in Sweden is very democratic – all people regardless of their social or financial status are involved into this process. This is what one may envy and should learn from”.
The group visited feeding grounds for reindeers, elks, roe deers, wild boars, and fallow deers, watched the process of preparing feeding mix, and scrutinized all types of feeders used in Sweden.
The spectrum of discussed issues was broad: types of feeding grounds, feeders’ models, types of forage, organization of trophy hunting, relations of game users with those of farmlands and foresters, attitude of Swedish people to predators, training courses for beginning hunters, educational programs for youth, nature conservation in Sweden and more.
“Before the trip I thought that the two countries’ experience in hunting management could not be compared as the mentality of the Russians and the Swedes differ, - says Sergei Voblyi, head of “Orlinoye” hunting estate.- But the study tour has proved the contrary. Being in Sweden I have learnt that the approach for game management is alike and have realized the importance of the new knowledge in my future work in Russia”.
Back at home the participants of the tour have already started to put learnt lessons into practice in their estates. Some are changing methods and regime of ungulates feeding, other getting themselves prepared to fix new types of feeders, like dispenser feeders equipped with timer, third are shifting to different kinds of forage and ways of its processing.
WWF plans to organize a series of seminars to share gained experience and knowledge with other hunting estates of Primorskii and Khabarovskii Provinces, those interested in conservation of wild ungulates which is the main prey for the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard.