New Rangers’ Center will help to protect tiger habitats from poachers
“Back in May, we were staying here with tents, and there was no one except poachers around for a few hours of driving,” recalls the director of the Central Asian Program of WWF Russia, Grigory Mazmaniants. “Now there is a tower, a garage, warehouses, a house where rangers live, a boom gate is installed, and even landscaping is being carried out.”
Nine persons can comfortably be accommodated in the Center at the same time. There is hot water, a kitchen, a toilet, a shower and even a solar power station. Warehouses are located on the territory, including for fuel, combustive and lubricating materials, there is a motorboat in the garage, and snowmobiles will appear in the near future. Communication is provided by radio stations and a 30-meter tower.
“The rangers’ centers are a vital infrastructure for organizing a proper protection of the territory of the Pribalkhash cluster, that is more than 356 thousand hectares,” comments Grigory Mazmaniants. - After all, it is impossible to carry each time equipment, food, means of transport, fuel for hundreds of kilometers. I am sure that with the help of the new Center it will be possible to protect at least a half of the site from poaching. Soon we will build the second one and will close this part of the reserve completely”.
The Ile-Balkhash Reserve was created in order to restore the ecosystems suitable for tiger as major habitats. The striped predator's reintroduction program is developed with a goal to return tigers, that had disappeared from here more than half a century ago. The work is carried out within the framework of the Memorandum between WWF and the Government of Kazakhstan on the implementation of a Tiger reintroduction program in Central Asia, signed in September 2017. The project is designed for 20 years. The first release of striped predators is preliminary scheduled for 2025.
Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia.