We Are Guardians of Amur Tiger and Leopard25 january 2019
We Are the Guardians of Amur Tiger & Leopard
On January 25th, the Fourth Tiger Habitat Ranger Competition successfully called an end in Hunchun, Jilin Province. This year’s event has arranged five awards and all have been taken after fierce competing. Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration Hunchun Municipal Branch has gained the first prize.
The competition is co-organized by the Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration, Department of Natural Protected Areas Management of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Department of Wildlife Conservation of National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Jilin Forestry and Grassland Bureau, Heilongjiang Forestry and Grassland Bureau and World Wide Fund (WWF). 17 teams of 51 tiger habitat rangers from 10 forestry bureaus of Northeast China Tiger & Leopard National Park, natural reserves of Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces, and Land of Leopard National Park in Russia, gathered to compete for the champion of the event. Thanks for the competition, the rangers had a chance to learn from each other, to exhibit the patrol skills and to exchange experience of patrolling, thus, effectively improved their abilities.
This competition was designed to build the rangers’ sense of honor and inspect their skills. A platform was created for experience exchange and improving their conservation work effectiveness. Through the competition, the public would have a deeper understanding of the significance of the rangers’ contribution to Amur tiger and leopard conservation.
In 2016, the ranger has been listed into the Vocational Qualification List of Skilled Personnel as a formal occupation by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China. Wildlife rangers, the people fighting for lucid waters and lush mountains, are the guardians and protectors of nature for both our human and wildlife. Their work plays a crucial role in the protection of Amur tiger and leopard. At the opening ceremony, Zhang Shanning, the vice director of the Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration, announced the start of the competition. He said: “According to the monitoring data, Amur tiger and leopard population has reached the historic highest. Last week, a tiger with 4 cubs were recorded in Hunchun, which symbolized the good conservation achievement of the rangers.”
Zhou Fei, CPO of WWF China mentioned:” Amur tiger and leopard are the flagship species. Patrolling work could effectively protect tiger habitat and combat against poaching. In recent years, Sino-Russia eco-system has been greatly improved, wildlife conservation has made some good progress, which are closely linked to the rangers’ contribution. This competition also promoted the experience exchange and capacity building.”
In the field competition, the rangers rushed into the site at the moment of the start of the competition. This year, the field session had been something different. In the last three competitions, each team had their own small site. This year, however, all teams were distributed into a big region of 40km2 and compete for the simulated poaching tools such as hunting loops and snares. This change has stimulated the passion of all the rangers and they took part in the competition with excitement. The organizers have chosen the paper and wood as the materials, which can be easily degraded. The field competition mainly verifies the rangers’ skills in GPS application, camera trap set up, snare removal, SMART patrol and team collaboration, etc.
For the indoor competition on 24th, the questions link to the regulations, case study, wildlife information, footprint and excreta identification, patrol skills, etc. All teams participated actively in the Q&As. Their enthusiasm inspired all the audience to join in together and won presents. With the fair and dedicated support of the judges, Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration Hunchun Municipal Bureau won the first prize, and Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration Wangqing County Branch and Hunchun Branch won the second and third prize respectively. Wang Zhongwu from Jilin Huangnihe Nature Reserve said:” The competition helped me a lot to improve my capacity. When I find the traces of the wildlife in my daily patrol, I feel heartily exciting. I will keep doing this job and be a tiger guardian.”
One more highlight of the competition is that at the closing ceremony, Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration and WWF have signed strategic cooperation agreement. In the coming 3 years, both parties will closely work together in the areas of recovery of Amur tiger and leopard population and their habitats, combating against poaching, community development, technology and method introduction and international exchange promotion.