The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been working closely with Russia, China and other East Asian countries for decades to conserve threatened wildlife and habitats. In fact, last month marked the 40th anniversary of the U.S. – Russia Environmental Agreement and four decades of collaboration for wildlife conservation under this bilateral agreement.
In 2011, the Service’s Wildlife Without Borders program provided $522,000 to partner organizations dedicated to protecting key species in Russia and East Asia and leveraged an additional $1 million in matching contributions.
“Russia and East Asia are home to some of our most treasured animals including tigers, snow leopards and many critically endangered species,” said Teiko Saito, the Service’s Assistant Director for International Affairs. “This region also provides important habitat to species that migrate from the U.S. across the Bering Strait and the North Pacific.”
Examples of projects underway through the Wildlife Without Borders program in Russia and East Asia include: The Phoenix Fund is providing rangers with basic equipment needed to conduct anti-poaching patrols in a newly declared national park in Russia. Earth Island Institute is establishing and training an anti-poaching patrol team to protect snow leopards in Russia’s Altai Republic. The Saiga Conservation Alliance is using a Wildlife Without Borders grant to support four projects across Russia, Mongolia and China to enhance law enforcement and monitoring of critically endangered saiga antelope. In China, funding to the Zoological Society of London is helping to build a long-term conservation program for the Chinese giant salamander, including surveillance for emerging infectious diseases.
The Service’s Wildlife Without Borders program operates four funds that provided the grants for Russia and East Asia conservation in 2011. The Wildlife Without Borders-Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund awarded seven grants providing $354,000 to tiger conservation efforts. Wildlife Without Borders-Russia awarded two grants, supporting $95,000 in conservation efforts for migratory waterfowl and the unique saiga antelope. In addition, the Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Fund and Amphibians In Decline Fund awarded three grants totaling $73,000 to save species on the brink of extinction.
Funding for wildlife conservation projects through the Wildlife Without Borders program includes a $15.5 million suite of grants across the globe. For more information on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Without Borders program, including detailed summaries of 2011 grant projects from Russia, East Asia, and other regions, visit www.fws.gov/international.