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A record number deer of Red-listed deer was released in the Ile-Balkhash reserve

12 july 2021
The third and the largest release of Bukhara deer into the wild took place in the Ile-Balkhash nature reserve

Previously, two other releases took place: in 2019, when the first 5 Bukhara deer settled on the territory, and in 2020, when they were joined by another 14 adult deer and 1 fawn.

“Together with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) it is planned to release 61 deer which is a record number in one year. Camera traps were set up in the release zone, to observe the released deer. In addition, 9 deer are equipped with satellite collars to better monitor the deer population”, - Leonid Sidorenko, head of the department of Almaty Regional Territorial Inspection of Forestry and Wildlife, says.
Photo: (c) WWF Russia
Photo: (c) WWF Russia

These animal tracking technologies are used all over the world, and with their help deer movement can be tracked. According to experts, the deer are equipped with collars painlessly and do not cause any harm to animals.

Bukhara deer was widespread in the Balkhash region in the past. However, at the beginning of the last century, this species became rare, and after several decades completely disappeared from the wild across all of Kazakhstan. Today, the global population of Bukhara deer in the world is 3500 individuals.

“The restoration of the Bukhara deer population in the Ile-Balkhash reserve has been very successful, the deer released so far have adapted and successfully given birth to fawns. According to preliminary estimates, taking into account of the current release and births of fawns, there are nearly 100 deer in the wild", - Grigory Mazmaniants, Director of WWF Central Asia Programme, says.
Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia
Photo: (c) WWF Russia
Photo: (c) WWF Russia
Photo: (c) WWF Russia

The third and the largest release of Bukhara deer into the wild

Bukhara deer is listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan and is protected internationally by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning Conservation and Restoration of the Bukhara Deer, signed by 4 range states. Due to the efforts of WWF Russia, for the first time in 100 years, deer have appeared on the territory of the Southern Balkhash region.

Photo credits: (c) WWF-Russia

The return of the Bukhara deer to the wild nature of the Balkhash region is an important stage of the program of the reintroduction of the tiger, which WWF Russia is implementing in cooperation with the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

We express our deep gratitude to ATN Russia for the donation of ATN X-Sight-4k Pro night vision sight for the immobilizing injector. Thanks to this sight, the employees of WWF, the Reserve and the Institute of Zoology of the Republic of Kazakhstan managed to put on satellite collars in two days.

For additional information please contact
Director of the Central Asian Program Office of WWF-Russia