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WWF-Russia will help to enhance protection of the Kamchatka Volcanoes Nature Park
15 april 2021
WWF-Russia granted financial support to protect and monitor the snow sheep population within the boundaries of five conservation areas comprising the "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" Nature Park. A part of grant support will also be used to co-fund the construction of Environmental Education Center in "Nalychevo" Nature Park.
Scientists say Kamchatka ecosystems can provide for about 15 thousand snow sheep maximum. Half a century ago this number of species probably lived on the peninsula. However, for the last 30 years, the snow sheep population is declining rapidly because of unsustainable trophy hunting and poaching.
"In 1995, areas of special protection, important for the snow sheep population, were established in Bystrinsky, Nalychevo, and South Kamchatka Nature Parks which along with two other conservation areas comprise "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" Nature Park. In spite of that, there wasn't any deep analysis of either the quantity of the snow sheep population or of its terrestrial distribution for more than ten years due to financial shortage," said Elena Nenasheva, the Chief Specialist of the Monitoring Department with "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" Nature Park.
In 2021, the grant funds provided by WWF-Russia will support the work of counting animals, mapping snow sheep range on the peninsula, setting camera traps, and monitoring the animal population on a regular basis. Aside from scientific activity, area protection measures are needed as well.
"The grant funds will partially offset the lack of the material base. The Nature Park Administration will be able to acquire the necessary equipment to supply a territory protection unit providing regular patrolling in the areas of potentially high poaching activity and unregulated tourism," said Sergey Rafanov, the Director of Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office of WWF-Russia.
On the other hand, for environmentally responsible tourists, an Environmental Education Center will appear on the Avacha pass at the bottom of the same-named volcano before the end of 2021. The Center will hold exhibitions on volcanoes, flora, and fauna of Kamchatka. There will be a space for lectures, thematic workshops, and conferences in the Center. The Nature Park Administration also plans to landscape the surrounding territory. All these measures are aimed to alleviate the anthropogenic impact on the Avacha pass ecosystems which are a World Heritage site.
A part of the grant funds provided by WWF-Russia will be used to co-fund this project as well.