AboutZoos, Since 2008


Tiger con­ser­va­tion sup­ported by 2012 Rolex Award

pub­lished 03 Feb­ru­ary 2013 | mod­i­fied 03 Feb­ru­ary 2013
Amurtiger sredneussuriiskySergei Bereznuk is a recip­i­ent of a 2012 Rolex Award for Enter­prise that will sup­port the con­ser­va­tion of the Amur Tiger (Pan­thera tigris ssp. altaica), which is listed as Endan­gered on The IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species™. By edu­cat­ing chil­dren and sup­port­ing anti-​poaching rangers, Bereznuk has ded­i­cated him­self to sav­ing this mag­nif­i­cent species from extinc­tion.

Ninety-​five percent of the remain­ing Amur Tiger pop­u­la­tion is found in the far east of Rus­sia which is where Sergei Bereznuk’s con­ser­va­tion efforts are focused. The main threat to this species is poach­ing for use in tra­di­tional Chi­nese med­i­cine but habi­tat destruc­tion and the poach­ing of its prey are also threats to the Amur Tiger.

Sergei Bereznuk has been involved in tiger con­ser­va­tion since the mid-​1990s when he became the deputy direc­tor of Inspec­tion Tiger, an anti-​poaching group. In 2000 he became Direc­tor of the Phoenix Fund, an NGO whose mis­sion is to con­serve the fauna and flora of the Russ­ian Far East. Since then he has been actively involved in lob­by­ing against ille­gal poach­ing and devel­op­ments that threat­ens tiger habi­tat.

Anti-​poaching activ­i­ties alone will not win the war against poach­ers. We have to fight for the hearts and minds of the local peo­ple and we must edu­cate our future gen­er­a­tions. We must pro­tect the tiger for our future before his time runs out!
Sergei Bereznuk, Direc­tor of the Phoenix Fund »

With the money from the Rolex Award, Sergei Bereznuk will con­tinue his edu­ca­tional and anti-​poaching projects. Already Bereznuk has equipped anti-​poaching units work­ing in four pro­tected areas with GPS and patrol equip­ment; fuel for their vehi­cles; and uni­forms. Spe­cial soft­ware allows the rangers to com­pare their data on the num­ber and routes of their patrols along with their obser­va­tions on tigers and wildlife. The Phoenix Fund will also give rangers and envi­ron­men­tal offi­cers bonuses to sup­ple­ment their low pay and encour­age them to con­tinue work­ing in con­ser­va­tion.

Aware that long term solu­tions are also needed, the Phoenix Fund sup­ports edu­ca­tors to work with chil­dren to develop respect and care for the tiger and other wildlife. Every year a Tiger Day fes­ti­val is held all over Pri­morsky Province and last year over 4,000 school chil­dren dressed as tigers par­tic­i­pated in cel­e­bra­tion in Vladi­vos­tok! Tiger Day Fes­ti­val is a very pow­er­ful tool that stim­u­lates pub­lic con­cern about the plight of the tiger in the wild and helps raise funds for tiger con­ser­va­tion.

With the sup­port of the Rolex Awards for Enter­prise, Sergei Bereznuk and Project Phoenix will con­tinue their con­ser­va­tion work that ben­e­fits not just the Amur Tiger, but all the wildlife found in the far east of Rus­sia.

Appli­ca­tions for the 2014 Rolex Awards for Enter­prise are now open and are exclu­sively devoted to young can­di­dates aged between 18 and 30 years. For more infor­ma­tion visit the Rolex Awards web­site.

(Source: IUCN Red List press release, 31.01.2013)
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Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
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