Let's save Russia's tigers and leopardsWhere in the World?
Phoenix Fund is a grassroots NGO fighting to protect far eastern Russia's last big cats through anti-poaching efforts and a strong education programme. The project aims to further strengthen Amur tiger/ leopard habitat protection through anti-poaching efforts and environmental education, but also to bolster local capacity for fire-fighting, as incidents of non-natural fires are increasing and are a major threat to the habitat of Amur tigers and leopard.
The three programme aspects are closely interrelated, with education an essential component of the project to engage local people and directly relate attitudes and behaviour, especially amongst villagers living within or close to key tiger/ leopard habitat.
The work supported has been successful in strengthening local fire-fighting networks and ensuring that fires have been reduced in number and where they happen have been effectively controlled.† Numbers of leopards and tigers have stabilised, though populations of both are still severely threatened.
The funding from the BBC Wildlife Fund will undoubtedly make a difference in helping to save the rare and endangered Amur tiger and Amur leopard and their historical habitat in Russia. These two big cats desperately need our help to survive. At present, they are facing numerous threats to their survival, such as poaching and habitat loss, and it is our duty to prevent them from going extinct. The project supported by the BBC Wildlife Fund will help to protect these big cats' natural habitat from poachers and forest fires and to educate and engage local communities to participate in the protection of their wildlife. We would like to express our deep appreciation to the BBC Wildlife Fund for their generous support that is enabling us to strengthen our anti-poaching and fire-fighting efforts in the protected area, which is a 'source site' for leopards and tigers (key habitat for breeding females).
Sergei Bereznuk, Project leader and Director, Phoenix Fund, Russia
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