WWF Russia presents an action plan for bringing back tigers to Kazakhstan

Posted on 06 October 2021

Moscow, 6 September 2021: Presidents Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan and Vladimir Putin of Russia, have held talks on progress towards the reintroduction of tigers to Kazakhstan. The two leaders discussed the plans during the 17th Forum on Interregional Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia which took place virtually from the 28th to the 30th of September.

WWF-Russia has been participating in the program in cooperation with the government of Kazakhstan under the framework of a memorandum signed between the Government of Kazakhstan and WWF in 2017. The outcomes of the discussions will be crucial in the lead up to the upcoming Tiger Summit, which will be held next year in Vladivostok. Back in 2010, Vladimir Putin expressed Russia's readiness to provide the first animals to be reintroduced under the program. 

During a virtual exhibition organised as part the forum, WWF-Russia presented an action plan describing the critical milestones towards the creation of a new home for the tigers in the Ile-Balkhash region. Ongoing plans include forest restoration, restocking the population of Bukhara deer as well as establishing an effective protection strategy to prevent future poaching in preparation for the return of the first tigers as early as 2025.

“Together with WWF-Russia, work is being carried out to implement the Tiger reintroduction program in Kazakhstan. The Ile-Balkhash State Natural Reserve with a total area of 415 thousand hectares has been designated in the Almaty region. To strengthen cooperation in this area, we propose to develop a joint digital ecosystem map,” said Mr. Brekeshev, the Minister of ecology, geology and natural resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

“This is not an easy issue to tackle, but a tiger is a tiger. Biologists must work on attempting to restore the population that we once had in Kazakhstan. Of course it won’t be possible to restore the entire population as it used to be, but we should attempt it, and of course assistance from Russia will be very important here.” said President Tokaev.

“We will of course be glad to participate both at the government level, and I think at the expert level too, this will undoubtedly be of interest to our experts, who have gained considerable expertise over the years. We will be glad to share this expertise and work together with you,” said President Putin. 

The project is being implemented with support from two private Dutch foundations, Pharus and Contribute through WWF-Netherlands.

For more information about the program visit: https://wwf.ru/en/regions/central-asia/vosstanovlenie-turanskogo-tigra/
Russia outlines action plan to bring back tigers to Kazakhstan
© Valery Maleev WWF Russia