SCHOOLCHILDREN LEARN MORE ABOUT TIGERS
The lessons for the 6th and 8th graders of the village school were given by the experts of Ili-Balkhash State Nature Reserve, as it is there that the ecosystem suitable for the reintroduction of the tiger into the wildlife will be restored. For the teaching purposes, Begonia design studio with the support of WWF Russia elaborated special study modules in the Russian and Kazakh languages introducing children to the secret life of tigers. In addition to that, the interactive lessons tell about the role of specially protected natural areas as a habitat for predators, and explain how to live good neighborly with tigers.
The work on the study modules had long been underway before the lessons were presented for the first time for biology teachers in Bakanas village in Balkhash District, Almaty Region, in late April. Not only secondary but also primary and high school age children from all local schools are expected to participate in these activities in the next academic year. The modules are in free access, meaning that anyone can use them as learning materials for children.
The idea of reintroducing tigers in Central Asia with the help of the Siberian tiger from Russia's Far East had long been discussed, with the project receiving support from the government of Kazakhstan as early as 2010. However, for the program to be rolled out, some research was needed to be done to identify potential areas for tiger reintroduction and study possible outcomes for various scenarios. This process had taken almost 10 years before the government of Kazakhstan and WWF finally signed a Memorandum for the implementation of the tiger reintroduction program in Central Asia in September 2017. In June 2018, Kazakhstan's specially protected natural area system was expanded with Ili-Balkhash State Nature Reserve covering over 415,000 ha of land, where the ecosystem suitable for tiger habitat will be restored. The arrival of the first Siberian tigers is planned for no earlier than 2024. Researchers believe that up to 120 animals can be living in Kazakhstan in 50 years' time.
Photo in the template by: (c) Alina Pirogova / WWF Russia