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Russia joins the World Ranger Day

30 july 2015
WWF Russia congratulates rangers on the World Ranger Day. On the eve of the Day WWF awarded the best inspectors of Primorsky Province Hunting Department for their outstanding efforts protecting the Amur tiger and leopard

Poaching is one of the problems affecting the status of rare cats population such as the Amur tiger and Amur leopard and their prey. More than 20 years ago WWF launched the first project in Russia on conservation of the Amur tiger and its habitat by creating anti-poaching brigades. This activity is still one of the most important in the southern Russian Far East.

WWF Russia provides technical support to government agencies to enhance the protection of tiger and leopard habitat, helps inspectors of nature reserves, national parks, wildlife refuges, wildlife and hunting management Departments of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Provinces to do their hard work in the field more effectively. Apart from technical support, WWF Russia conducts trainings, introducing new ways of working with special tracking systems to catch poachers, help ensure the safety of inspectors with the use of GLONASS. Over the past several years WWF together with the Wildlife and Hunting Management Department reviews the results and recognizes the leaders.

“Gennady Lyubitsky, Anatoly Andreev, Boris Viktorovsky, Alexander Sakhno, the experienced staff of the Primorsky Province Hunting Department, are traditionally among the best rangers WWF awarded the best rangers, Gennady Lyubitsky, Anatoly Andreev, Boris Viktorovsky, Alexander Sakhno. But we also have young rangers who have already showed what they are made of: Alexander Chertorinsky, Dmitry Sukhanov, Evgeny Kozulin, Evgeny Grebennikov, comments Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation projects coordinator at WWF-Russia Amur branch.  The work of a ranger is very difficult and dangerous. But it is absolutely clear that the fate of rare animals and their habitat depends on these people.'

In June 2013, the Russian Government toughened the punishment for environmental violations, the institute of public inspectors for environmental protection was introduced, and criminal charges for rare species trade were brought.

In 2015, rangers of Khabarovsky and Primorsky Provinces during anti-poaching raids detected 1,765 violations, confiscated 272 illegal firearms. Moreover, with the introduction of the article 258.1 of the Criminal Code, 5 criminal cases were initiated in Primorsky Province on storage and transportation of valuable animals including Amur tiger and leopard.

“This winter turned out to be extremely difficult. The rangers have been actively involved in the full range Amur tiger survey, at the same time they were carrying out anti-poaching raids and patrolling hunting grounds, because many poachers decided to take advantage of the difficult situation with wild ungulates due to deep snow conditions, notes Alexei Surovy, deputy head of the Primorsky Province Hunting Management Department.  Ranger's work is very hard and cannot be done without enthusiasm and courage. Fighting with violations, wildlife inspectors constantly face heavily armed poachers, risking their lives for the sake of nature.”

Anatoly Andreev, ranger of Hunting Department of Primorsky Province
© Yury Smityuk
Anatoly Belov, ranger of Land of the Leopard National Park
Rangers of Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve Roman Kozhichev and Kirill Kireev patrolling the territory
© Sikhote-Alinsky Nature Reserve
Pavel Fomenko conducts training for rangers on solving human tiger conflict situations
© WWF Russia
One of the detected poacher's loads
© Hunting Department of Primorsky Province