Wild Amur tiger conservation team receives WWF award
Changchun, China - China's Wild Amur Tiger Protection team has received a WWF award for its success in protecting rare Amur tigers in the country’s northeast, part a critical area for the future survival of the endangered species known as the Amur-Heilong region.
The Amur tiger protection team includes the Northeast China Program Office of WWF-China, Jilin Forestry Department, Wangqing Forestry Bureau of Jilin Province and the Hunchun National Amur Tiger Nature Reserve Administration Bureau in Jilin.
The award was given for "Best Law Enforcement Monitoring Effort" during a ceremony in Changchun, Jilin Province in early December.
"The Amur-Heilong team has made great strides this year in their tiger patrol and monitoring efforts," said Jamie Kemsey, Senior Manager for Communications for the WWF's Tigers Alive Initiative (TAI). "These expanding efforts will lead to better protection, and ultimately a brighter future, for tigers in Amur-Heilong. On behalf of WWF and the Tigers Alive Initiative team, I am honored to take part in the presentation of this award today."
Tigers Alive Initiative Awards
In 2011,WWF launched the Tigers Alive Initiative Awards for Excellence in Protection Efforts to identify and honor leading examples of conservation work being carried out by tiger range countries and their conservation teams in the areas wild tigers live.
The awards are part of the Tigers Alive Initiative'sZero Poaching Campaign, which seeks to eliminate poaching in key tiger areas to aid the recovery of the big cat.
During 2010 and 2011, with the support of the Jilin and Heilongjiang forestry departments, WWF-China carried out patrolling and monitoring activities for a period of 567 days in the mountainous Changbaishan area, reducing threats to tigers and their prey through the removal of snares. WWF also supported the Wangqing Forestry Bureau set up MIST, a database software programme for monitoring wildlife species. The software will be used to help prevent poaching, strengthen anti-poaching and monitoring patrols, and explore the most effective ways to work with local communities living within tiger regions.
"We plan to explore and demonstrate an effective anti-poaching management system, and promote it for wider use in critically important Amur Tiger protected areas," said Jiang Zhu, Director of the Northeast Office of WWF-China. "Through these efforts, we aim at ensuring the safety of the wild tiger and creating prime conditions for its protection and recovery."
Jilin Province, which last year signed an agreement with its counterparts in Russia for a trans-boundary Amur tiger protection network, has also welcomed the award.
"Jilin takes its role in saving the Amur tiger very seriously. We are honoured to have received the award together with the Northeast Office of WWF-China and to now be given the opportunity to tell the world about the huge improvements in tiger conservation in China," said Changchun Yu, Director of the Jilin Forestry Department’s Wildlife Conservation Division.
Notes to Editors
In November 2010, the leaders and representatives of the 13 tiger-range countries gathered in St. Petersburg to attend the Global Tiger Summit. Here they pledged to save the wild tiger and approved the creation of the highly significant Global Tiger Recovery Program.
WWF launched the Tiger Alive Initiative (TAI) with the aim of doubling the number of wild tigers in the 13 tiger-range countries by 2022 (Tx2), China’s next Year of the Tiger. To ensure the protection of wild tigers, WWF is promoting a global zero-poaching campaign which will last for 18 months. The plan is focused on helping to build the capacity of teams on the ground and, with assistance and support from government partners, eliminate the threats of poaching in the 50 critical tiger protection areas. .
Accordingly, the 2011 "WWF Tigers Alive Initiative Awards for Excellence in Protection Efforts" places a heavy focus on anti-poaching measures with awards which include “Best patrolling team,” “Best site-based intelligence work,” “Best enforcement partnership,” “Most effective enforcement team” and “Best law enforcement monitoring effort.”
After years of hard work, the Jilin Forestry Department has made great progress in Amur tiger conservation. Recently, Jilin Province officials have signed an agreement with Russia for the creation of a cross-boundary protection network. Through this both sides will share monitoring information, cooperate with border forces to conduct joint monitoring efforts along the Sino-Russia border, actively support NGOs, including WWF-China, to demonstrate effective patrolling and monitoring methods, and to introduce advanced anti-poaching techniques along with an exploration of alternatives for the formation of effective anti-poaching management systems. As a result of the commitment of substantial efforts to the advancement of patrolling and monitoring, snare removal and law enforcement, tiger habitat has been greatly improved and is of the greatest benefit to the recovery of the Amur Tiger populations in Changbaishan.
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