«Tiger Heroes» were recognized on Tiger Day
“Tiger heroes” received acknowledgements and diplomas signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the welcome reception in the Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theatre from Konstantin Chuichenko, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the “Amur Tiger” Centre, the chief of the Control Directorate of the Presidential Administration.
“This signifies great appreciation for the efforts of these people in wildlife protection in general and in conservation of rare species such as tigers and leopards in particular. We believe that the awards are absolutely deserved, these are the real heroes, whose work is often invisible, extremely difficult and very necessary for the well-being of our big cats,”- says Pavel Fomenko, coordinator of the Species program of the WWF Russia Amur branch.
Among those awarded diplomas of the President of the Russian Federation were officers of regional Wildlife Management and Hunting Departments of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Provinces, whose names more than once have topped WWF Russia’s annual ratings of the most effective rangers for tiger habitat protection and the increasing ungulates numbers in the tiger’s home range.
“We believe it is critically important for the state to support and encourage the work of wildlife protection. The list of awardees included the rangers who according to WWF Russia are the best in the wildlife protection system: Anatoly Andreev, Boris Viktorovsky, Andry Oryol, Alexandr Korneev, Alexandr Samoylenko, Vladimir Yachkovsky, Yury Kolpak, Mikhail Ivanov, Anatoly Stepnykh. These people were many times involved in solving conflict situations both with poachers and large predators, they saved orphaned tiger cubs from death. And, of course, it is absolutely right that the work of the Sniffer Dog Service, is displayed at the forefront for natural resources conservation. Mikhail Mos, the chief of the Sniffer Dog Service of the Far Eastern Customs received the certificate of honor from the President of Russia” - says Fomenko.
About 20 000 people participated in Tiger Day activities in Vladivostok on September 27-28. One of the most significant events of the holiday was WWF Russia’s 1,3 million rubles check presented to Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve. On Tiger Day Igor Chestin, decorated ecologist of the Russian Federation and director of WWF Russia, handed it over to Dmitry Gorshkov, director of Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve on behalf of WWF supporters.
“Today the effective protection of the tiger in the north of Primorsky Province is one of WWF Russia’s priorities. This is due to the fact that after several snowy winters in these areas ungulates numbers decreased, and moreover, the predator numbers reduced on some model sites according to monitoring data, - said Igor Chestin, director of WWF Russia. – Fighting against poaching is a very difficult job. Rangers should be provided with the necessary equipment, off-road vehicles and they generally should feel support from the public. I hope that our assistance will affect the increase in tiger numbers, and we will see this after the tiger census, which will take place in Russia in the winter of 2014-2015.”
This spring WWF already supported the operation of a joint ranger group for “Udege Legend” National Park and the Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve. Now, thanks to WWF supporters, another off-road vehicle was purchased that will help to enhance nature reserve patrolling.
“Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve is the largest nature reserve in the tiger’s range, and special attention should be paid to its protection. According to camera traps monitoring there are about 20-22 tigers are now living on the territory of the nature reserve, - said Dmitry Gorshkov, director of Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve at the presentation of the certificate. – The Nature Reserve and WWF Russia have a fruitful partnership, and we are grateful to WWF for its support of tiger conservation activities. WWF’s gift – a Тoyota Tacoma – will be delivered to the reserve ranger group.”