Russia, China approve plan for joint environmental activity

Russia, China approve plan for joint environmental activity

22 June 2014

Last week, participants of the Working Group on Trans-Border Protected Natural Areas and Biological Diversity Conservation met at a session in the town of Spassk-Dalny in the Primorye Territory. The Land of the Leopard National Park was represented by Chief Research Associate Anna Vitkalova.


The annual sessions, which have been held for eight years, aim to assess joint efforts in endangered species preservation and map out a course of action for the next 12 months.


This year, the Russian delegation was led by Acting Head of the Far Eastern Federal District’s Department of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources Vladimir Andronov, while the Chinese delegation was headed by Deputy Director of the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Department of Environmental Impact Assessment Bai Chengshou.


Trans-border preservation of the rare Far Eastern wild cats – the Amur tiger and the Far Eastern leopard – has been a vital issue on the agenda at every group session. Speaking of the efforts made by Land of the Leopard National Park in this regard, Ms Vitkalova said that a scientific cooperation agreement was signed between the park administration and China’s Hunchun and Wangqing nature reserves in April 2014. The issue of the supervision of the implementation of the agreement, including annual wild cat photo monitoring, was included as a separate item in the plan for next year’s activities approved at the session held in Spassk-Dalny.


“The growing population of the Far Eastern leopard is forcing the wild cats to explore China’s woodlands close to the Russian border, which used to be leopards’ habitat before they were exterminated. This is why it is highly important for Russian scientists to learn about the fate of leopards inhabiting territories abroad. We have already received the initial data regarding the ‘spotted border guards’ as obtained from camera traps on Russian territory,” Ms Vitkalova said.


Russian scientists are interested in becoming familiarised with the information obtained by their Chinese colleagues, she said, adding that the photos taken on Chinese territory quite probably may depict animals that are already known in Russia. Currently, the scientists are negotiating ways to exchange their obtained data and to conduct consecutive joint analysis.