Monitoring flights over Land of the Leopard© Land of the Leopard press service
10 January 2018

Monitoring flights over Land of the Leopard

State inspectors from Land of the Leopard National Park have flown a poacher monitoring mission over the park in a leased Mi-2 helicopter. These flights also helped scientists take stock of the park's hoofed animals.

The observation flights were held over a large part of Land of the Leopard National Park and the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve. As inspectors on board the helicopter looked for poachers, a task force on the ground waited for the intruders' coordinates so as to detain them, if necessary. However, the inspectors did not see any intruders.

"Aerial patrolling of the protected area in winter allows us to inspect a large part of the territory in a short span of time, looking into the remotest parts of the national park and the reserve. It is one of the most effective methods of combating poachers," said Yevgeny Stoma, Land of the Leopard deputy director for security.

The park's scientists used the flights to take stock of the hoofed animals, which are the basic food source for the Far Eastern leopards and the Amur tigers. The scientists flew over several areas populated by wild boar, roe deer and sika deer and counted all the animals they saw. They will analyse this data to assess the overall situation with the hoofed population in the national park.

"Aerial monitoring is a reliable method for determining the density of the hoofed population in this area. But it is also a very complex job that calls for identifying a species, the number of animals within sight and other parameters in a matter of seconds," said Yevgenia Bisikovalova, Land of the Leopard deputy director for research.

Moreover, the scientists on board the Mi-2 helicopter were lucky this time, because they saw a female Amur tiger with two grownup cubs crossing a valley.

 

© Land of the Leopard press service

An aerial photograph of an Amur tiger