NAGPUR: To learn experience on good practices in tiger conservation, a two-member team from Russia is visiting Pench and Kanha tiger reserves in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
The team reached city on Tuesday and left for Pench in the afternoon. The team consists of Sergei Marchenko from Zov Tigra National Park and Evgenii Terentev from Zimliya Leopard, both in Primorsky Krai. The two senior officials will be accompanied by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) manager Prafulla Bhamburkar.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Russia have already formed a subgroup on tiger and leopard conservation and signed a pact. The visit is part of the Tiger Watch Project of the Global Tiger Forum (GTF).
A meeting held on September 17-18, 2012 in Moscow had decided on capacity building of field officers and specialists, including exchange officers, to share experience on good practices in tiger conservation. It was agreed that both sides may allow cooperation between reputed institutes on both sides.
Both sides agreed for developing an inter-institutional cooperation in areas such as scientific tiger monitoring, anti-poaching, electronic surveillance, assessment of tigers and their habitat at landscape level, tiger/leopard reintroduction, radio collaring and related studies.
Bhamburkar said WTI is one of the sponsors along with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). He said the tour is part of the exchange programme of GTF, which plays a key role in terms of organizing training programmes, exchanging information and promoting cooperation between tiger range countries for evolving a harmonized approach to ensure the future of wildcats in the world.
The officials will study site-specific management plans and programmes dealing with protection, poaching problem and corridors. The team will also visit villages to see eco-development models. They will learn patrolling methods and interact with field directors.
* Russia is facing similar challenges as India on conservation front. Today, fewer than 500 Siberian tigers – the largest of the tiger subspecies – survive
* The dramatically lower number is reported because of the lack of genetic diversity among Siberian tigers
* Siberian tigers are relatively easy to breed in captivity. There are more Siberian tigers in zoos around the world than in the wild
* The body parts of Siberian tigers – particularly their fur and bones – are highly valued. Their bones are especially valued in China for medicinal purpose
* Most of the Siberian tigers remaining in the wild today live in the Far East of Russia. A few Siberian tigers also live in North Korea and China, bordering Russia