Student team Tiger-2015 completes its eco mission in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve

Student team Tiger-2015 completes its eco mission in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve

20 August 2015

The student team Tiger-2015 has fulfilled its mission to upgrade the Lake Blagodatnoye eco-trail in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. Twenty-six young specialists – future biologists, ecologists, forest managers, hunting experts and veterinarians – spent nearly two months on the Lake Blagodatnoye eco-trail, creating comfortable conditions for tourists in the protected area. During the opening ceremony for the trail, the team’s leader, Alexei Shashenok, cut a stretched rope representing a symbolic “red ribbon.”


“Two years after the student team Tiger was formed, we see how very unique it is. This year, it took two times less effort to get it to work at full capacity. I have visited many national parks abroad and saw eco-trail infrastructure built by professional construction workers. And I can say that all that has been created through the collective effort of our students – ecologists, veterinarians and hunting experts – is just as good as any foreign analogues,” said Sergei Aramilev, director of the Amur Tiger Centre’s Primorye branch.


The students, guided by the reserve’s employees and an eco-trail development and reconstruction expert, Anna Gritsuk, outfitted a parking lot, laid additional boards and piled up earth dykes on the Mys Severny trail, carried out improvements on the Lake Blagodatnoye eco-trail, built the necessary infrastructure – a watch tower and wood racks – renovated the sign posts and landscaped the entrance. 


“I am pleased with the work we have done. We have our trademark style when it comes to trail improvements and educational tourism infrastructure in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. The 2014 and 2015 student teams devoted themselves completely to their work. True, things were a bit more complicated for the very first student team members. It was an experiment to test how trail development would proceed and determine what is the best way to organise camp sites. This year, we took a lot from our previous experience. The new equipment that appeared in the reserve made it no longer necessary for the students to transport materials, which enabled them to focus entirely on trail improvements,” said Dmitry Gorshkov, director of the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve.Mr Gorshkov unveiled plans to upgrade yet another eco-path – Bukhta Golubichnaya – and carry out routine maintenance on the already functioning trails.


Saving the Amur tiger, the world’s rarest wild cat, from extinction has always been the main aim of the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. Even though the Amur tiger population has increased thanks to the tireless work of Russian conservationists, this species still remains in the Russian Red Data Book. Sikhote-Alin boasts natural tiger habitats that have survived almost intact.   

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