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Премия рунета 2017

Track of a snowmobile helped to reveal illegal logging in Khabarovsky Province

17 december 2014
Russian Far East. Raids in the southern Khabarovsky Province jointly organized by the Regional office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Provincial Forest Department, and WWF Russia bring first results.

Illegal logging site was found in Mataisky Wildlife Refuge. Valuable timber was ready for transportation but the lack of forest roads has suspended the operation. But the “forest thieves” were not going to lay out the road for a simple reason – they wanted stay unnoticed in the forest to the last moment. And they had all chances to be disguised as the turning to the forest from the main road looked as a simple track of a snowmobile which are numerous in the taiga during the hunting season.

But as those who conduct raids are very well familiar with such a logging “technology” each distinct, well used track of a snowmobile was thoroughly checked.  

In most cases such tracks led to hunting huts, but this time it has brought the inspectors to the illegal logging site. Two tractors, timber of oak and ask were confiscated. 45 cubic meters of illegal timber caused 10 million rubles in damages. Investigation is being carried out.  

«We repeatedly called attention of local authorities to illegal logging of valuable tree species in the Amur tiger habitats with Mataisky Wildlife Refuge being among of them. Cutting of oak reaches its critical level while this tree is a food base for ungulates, tiger prey in its turn», notes Dmitry Sychikov, forest projects senior coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch.

He adds that they have also revealed a massive illegal harvesting of the New Year Trees. 517 firs were waiting to be transported. The damage was estimated at 2 millions of rubles.

Three years ago WWF Russia Amur branch and Khabarovsky Province Forest Department signed a Cooperative Agreement on sustainable use and protection of forests. In general, participation of WWF staff in raids conducted by the Regional office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Khabarovsky Province shows its efficiency and proves the sincere willingness of the governmental structures to jointly solve the issue.

517 illegally cut firs are waiting to be transported to the cities and villages of Khabarovsky Province
© Dmitry Sychikov