Russian-Chinese cross-border reserve plans discussed in Harbin© Land of the Leopard press service
30 October 2018

Russian-Chinese cross-border reserve plans discussed in Harbin

Land of the Leopard has proposed establishing a Russian-Chinese cross-border nature reserve that would incorporate Land of the Leopard National Park, the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve and China's Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park. The project was presented by Viktor Bardyuk, director of Vorontsov Land of the Leopard, during the plenary session at the international forum on conservation of Amur tigers and Far Eastern leopards in Harbin (China).

"The forum helped us and our Chinese colleagues identify the main areas of cooperation. China is now working on creating Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park, which will border on Land of the Leopard. It is important to reach an agreement on the coordination of joint security and research. We invited the leadership of Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park to visit Land of the Leopard and continue discussing ways of cooperation to present to the governments of both countries," Bardyuk said.

The forum participants spoke highly of the initiative to create a Russian-Chinese cross-border nature reserve, and said they would discuss it at the highest level in Beijing.

Cross-border monitoring and protection of rare cats and their food sources is of particular importance for the national park, because Land of the Leopard National Park borders on China. Part of the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard populations move freely between the two countries, not seeing the state border as an obstacle. According to the research conducted by Russian and Chinese scientists under the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), 15 adult leopards were spotted by camera traps in both countries in 2013-2015.

The Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park project was approved in December 2016 by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The protected area includes the previously established Hunchun, Wangqing, Suiyang and Tianqiaolin nature reserves and the grounds of 10 forestry stations located in the Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, with a total area of 1.5 million hectares.

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