Experts of The Amur Tiger Center in collaboration with the Department of the Wildlife and Hunting Department of Primorsky Krai checked on the works carried out at one of the 11 sites in Primorsky Krai called Lazo district.
Eleven even routes within the site were studied in two days by experienced "rangers" of the hunting farms Barkhat and Bars and by other specialists under the supervision of the Wildlife and Hunting Department of Primorskiy Krai. On the one hand, snow conditions made it possible to use quad bikes which greatly facilitated passing routes. On the other hand it complicated finding traces of tigers and hoofed animals, as there were a lot of snow-free areas, which had to be bypassed at the edge of the snow, so the actual length of the route appeared to be longer than usual. Such an approach bears certain probability of missing traces, but no delay of works was acceptable, as minor snow was about to melt, and no more snow was forecasted. Second stage of monitoring (in February), when the routes will be studied, will let specialists trace the tigers, who were not recorded during the passage of the first stage.
The Lazovsky district site (it is the area of 987.5 sq km) located on the territory of the three hunting farms borders to another site called Lazovsky Nature Reserve (the area of 1192.1 square kilometers). Such proximity is no coincidence: it allows to evaluate the impact of economic activity on the Amur tiger population using the data obtained from two sites, covering territory with varying degrees of practical use.
"Low snow, and even snowless first half of winter in the Lazovsky district is an undoubted boon for hoofed animals, as in "starvation" conditions of this year it creates possibility of feeding with tree-twig food”, – says the director of the Amur Tiger Center’s Primorsky branch Sergei Aramilev. – “Together with supervisor authority we checked a number of routes on this site which had been passed by scorekeepers before our arrival. Having their data, it was easy to make sure that they had scrupulously checked their routes and noted all the traces they had found. No forgery was detected: our measurement concured with the data scorekeepers had collected and the biggest divergence was 3 mm. Tracos of three different tigers were revealed during the monitoring! Obviously we couldn’t have controlled all the routes, we weren’t going to do double work, but scorekeepers did not know which routes were to be be checked, so we are sure that the work has been done efficiently".
According to preliminary data, at least four tigers were recordered at Lazovsky district. The first stage of the Amur tiger monitoring at Pozharskiy, Dalnerechenskiy, Chuguevskiy, Olginskiy, Terneiskiy and Ussuriyskiy regions of Primorye is completed or is in the stage of completion. Pleminary results of the first stage of monitoring are to be announced by February 1, then it will be possible to talk about the number of changes on the sites compared to previous years.
Works are carried out by the Administration of Primorsky Krai and The Amur Tiger Center.