Land of the Leopard National Park, Russia
Russian Far East: Building Community Support for Wildlife
Tigers for Tigers, the National Wildlife Refuge Association, Clemson University faculty, graduate students, and WWF-Russia have been working together to design and implement conservation programs to enhance collaboration between Russian and U.S. conservation practitioners, share best practices regarding human-wildlife conflict mitigation, and build community support for wildlife.
Our Collaboration and Success
Among local communities, the costs of living in close proximity to vibrant populations of large wide-ranging predators is challenging. Personal safety issues, livestock and crop losses often outweigh potential longer term benefits. The conundrum of the local realities of living with rebounding predators is common around the world, whether it is wolves and grizzlies in the American West, Southeast and Alaska, tigers and leopards in Russia and India, or elephants and gorillas in Africa. In order for predator conservation to be successful, community support and involvement is essential.
In 2015, we conducted two professional exchanges in the U.S. and Russia. Our participants assessed and synthesized effective predator mitigation and constituency building solutions that can be applicable to their own protected areas through applied learning. As a result of the exchange, not only did we compare and contrast strategies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict between US and Russia, but also we utilized this knowledge to design media assets to inform community members about mitigating conflicts with bears, wolves and tigers which proved effective.