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In the "Ile-Balkhash" natural reserve restoration of the Bukhara deer population started

30 december 2018
The first group of five Bukhara (tugai) deer arrived from the Syrdarya-Turkestan State Regional Natural Park to the Ile-Balkhash reserve at the end of December 2018. Already in June, animals are expected to be released into the wild: deer will be provided with GPS collars so that specialists can keep their permanent monitoring.

Previously, this species of deer was widely distributed in the Ile-Balkhash region and was an important component of the Caspian tiger diet. In the first half of the twentieth century, the Bukhara deer disappeared from the fauna of the Ile-Balkhash region and throughout Kazakhstan as a whole. Today, the animal is listed in the IUCN Red Data List and the Red Data Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The animals that arrived to the Ile-Balkhash Reserve (three females and two males) are now kept in the adaptation enclosure, which has been built on the territory of the reserve in November last year. Restoration and increase in the number of ungulates (wild boar, tugai deer, etc.) is one of the most important points of the Tiger Reintroduction Programme in Kazakhstan, implemented with the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the Ile-Balkhash region.

Over the next five years, it is planned to bring at least 200-250 Bukhara deer in the frame of the project. According to the plans, the first Amur tigers will be brought to the Ile-Balkhash natural reserve in 2024-2025. By that time, the Bukhara deer should once again become common for these places.

After release into the wild nature, the major threat for deer will be poaching. Therefore, already now WWF Russia provides support to the protection department of the reserve, and also develops public awareness and educational activities for local residents.

“The first group of five deer, which arrived to the Ile-Balkhash reserve in December 2018 from the Syrdarya-Turkestan State Regional Natural Park, was a real gift for us for the New Year 2019,” - comments Grigory Mazmanyants, Director of the Central Asian Program of WWF Russia, - This important event took place thanks to the help of our partners and friends.”

WWF Russia is particularly grateful to the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nysanbaev Yerlan Nuralievich, to the Committee of Forestry and Fauna of the Ministry of Agriculture, the directorship and staff of the “PE Ohotzooprom”, the Department of Natural Resources of the Turkestan Region, and to Olga Pereladova, Mikhail Goncharuk, Maxim Levitin, Ryspek and Erik Baidavletov, to the Kazakhstan Association for Biodiversity Conservation and personally to Sergey Sklyarenko, Zhasar Adilbaev, to the Director  of the Ile-Balkhash Reserve  Zhanibek Dzhubaniyazov and his staff.

Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia

Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia
Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia
Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia
Photo: (c) Maxim Levitin / WWF Russia
For additional information please contact
Director of the Central Asian Program Office of WWF-Russia