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WWF begins a project on returning a nearly extincted tugaj deer b

21 april 2016
WWF Russia and Kazahstan Embassy in Russian Federation organized an evening in support of a joint project “Return of the tugai deer to Pribalhashje”.

Businesman, journalists, actors, musicians and politicians gathered in the residence of the Embassy of Kazahstan in Moscow to give a start to the project of returning this graceful animal, that once lived across Central Asia.

To make this possible, it is nesessary to solve a whole row of complex problems.  That is why WWF sets a much broader task – to save and restore unique natural ecosystems in the areas of tugai deer habitat, as well as to implement of ecologically friendly forms of management of natural resources among local people and, finally, to stop poaching in southern Pribalhashje.  This all will not only allow to save and restore rare species of animals, but will also improve life of local people.

A mastermind and a hostess of the evening was an actress Bibigul Aktan, an ambassador of WWF Russia in Kazahstan.  Together with a co-presenter,  actor and producer Maksim Akbarov, they announced a start of the project.  After that Olga Pereladova, a director of Central-Asia programm of  WWF Russia, made a detailed presentation on a longstanding WWF’s work in Kazahstan and other countries of Central Asia and on the most outstanding projects of sucsessful restoration of rare species populations on those territories.

“This project of restoring of tugai deer’s population is planned to go on for 4 years.  For its realisation we need to find 160 thousands euro for the first year, to this moment we’ve got 8 thousands.  We already managed to get an agreement on building of enclosures for deers adaptation and now we are really counting on support from business, that works in Russia and Kazahstan”, - says Dr. Pereladova.

To let the guests get a closer look at an amazing tugai deer, Bibigul Aktan presented her short film, composed of rare video snapshots from WWF Russia’s archives, as there is very little footage of this rare animal.  All the additional videotaping in Alma-Aty zoo, video editing and sound recording was made by Bibigul herself together with help of few associates.  “Long time ago tugai deer inhabited river valleys across the whole Central Asia.  However, already in the middle of past century it was wiped out.  This graceful animal went almost extinct because of poaching and loosing its habitat.  I believe that we, descendants, should take responsibility and correct the mistakes of our ancestors”, - says Bibigul.

After and official part there was a musical concert with appearance of a singer Janar Dugalova and a group The Jigits.  The first song that they sung was a well-known composition “Forest deer”.  Among guests of the evening there also were Nurlan Koyanbaev, Klara Kuzdenbaeva, Vladimir Kuznetsov, Iren Vanidovskaya, Sofia Chmuh   and other representative of culture and business.

WWF Russia has been working in Central Asia since 1996.  Thanks to it’s work an area of protected areas in Northern Kazahstan was more then doubled, and valuable wetlands where dosens of rare birds are nesting, were the first ones in Central Asia to get a status of UNESCO World Heritage.  Delta of Ili river and southern part of Balhash lake in Kazahstan were announced as wetlands of international value.  Also there was a significant growth of already existing protected territories, for example, areas, located in Kazahstan’s part of Altay - Katon-Karagaisky national park, “Altyn-Dala” nature refuge  and protected areas along Syrdarya river.

WWF Russia is grateful to Kazahstan Embassy in Russian Federation for hospitality and to all guests for their interest and involvement.

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For additional information please contact
Central Asia Programme Advisor