Far Eastern wildlife authorities fatten up deer and boar

Far Eastern wildlife authorities fatten up deer and boar

18 March 2011

Environmental authorities in northern Primorye are expanding feeding programmes for hoofed animals threatened after the cold and snowy winter, World Wildlife Fund Russia said.


The size of the endangered Siberian tiger population directly depends on the deer and boar livestock, because the tiger is at the top of the Ussuri taiga food chain.


"In recent years, winters have been overly cold and snowy in the northern parts of the tigers' habitat, the Khabarovsk Territory. This affects the numbers of ungulates (hoofed mammals) in the area. That is why it was decided to re-channel reserve funds into the northern parts of the Primorye Territory and the Khabarovsk Territory, and to extend this support programme to regional reserves," said Sergei Aramilev, biodiversity programme coordinator at WWF Russia's Amur branch.


The WWF and wild animal preservation society established the reserve fund to support local hunting farms and reserves in Primorye in 2009 with a view to sustaining hoofed mammal populations. Local animal preservation groups are focused on preserving the endangered Siberian tiger which feeds on Siberian stag, spotted deer, roe deer and wild boar.


The fund is mainly spent on fodder, as well as on clearing approaches to feeding sites and on protection raids in places where there are artificially high concentrations of the animals.


The financing extended to regional reserves such as the Birsky, Mataisky, Chukensky, and Bobrovy, the Matai hunting reserve in the Khabarovsk Territory, and the Sinegorye, Sobol and Targa hunting reserves in Primorye, will help them take action to protect the ungulate population.


"We are glad that Primorye's successful experience has been expanded to the neighbouring region. I hope that wildlife authorities in the Khabarovsk Territory will realise the importance of this effort and order all local hunting reserves to adopt their own ungulate protection plans. This programme has been running for four years in Primorye," Aramilev added.