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One week brings WWF over one million rubles for Amur tiger conservation

26 january 2015
Russian Far East. Over a short week WWF Russia has raised 1,3 million rubles (about 20 000 USD) to provide urgent help for the Amur tiger.

The assistance of WWF supporters enables 15 hunting estates of Primorsky Province to start supplementary feeding of wild ungulates.

In spite of the harsh economic situation in Russia almost three thousand people answered the WWF Russia request for help the tiger and wild ungulates suffering high snow in the southern Primorye. The bulk of the amount was collected through Internet, another part – by sending sms on a certain number. WWF is grateful to everybody who has helped the animals.

Heavy snow has significantly limited the movement of sika deers, roe deers, and wild boars in their search for food. If a mass mortality of wild ungulates occurs tigers eat dead animals therefore a snowy winter itself is not a threat for tigers. Yet the next year tigers will have nothing to prey for as the restoration of ungulates number up to its normal level can take decades.

To save animals from starvation urgent measures should be taken. Forage should be bought, supplementary feeding stations should be organized in the taiga, young forage trees should be cut, and trials for wild ungulates should be laid. Besides, it is needed to protect the feeding stations against poachers who became very active feeling an easy target.

Right now for the money provided by WWF supporters 90 tons of forage has been bought 90 with the total weigh to be 150 tons in the coming days.

Supplementary feeding is being carried out in the regional wildlife refuges of Primorsky and Khabarovsky Provinces, and in a number of hunting estates.

According to Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF Russia Amur branch, «The assistance is extremely required right away as it ensures survival of young ungulates and adult males under these harsh winter conditions. Unfortunately, a part of ungulates will die off in the remote areas. We will have to conduct special activities to adequately assess animals’ deaths. If the loss is significant next year we will probably limit hunt in some territories».

Though the urgent measures have been already taken the work still should be continued as in February and March it traditionally snows heavily in the Russian Far East. Over 40 hunting estates have already looking for help. So WWF Russia keeps raising funds for:

Purchasing snowmobiles for rangers 350 000 rubles per item

  • Laying trails 100 000 rubles for 10 km

  • Delivering forage 15 000 rubles for one ton of forage as far as 100 km

  • Purchasing forage 7000 rubles per one ton.