Last weekend the annual Tiger Day Celebration came to the streets of Terney, a town in northern Primorye - home of the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Nature Reserve and WCS Sikhote-Alin Research Center. With support from the Wildlife Conservation Society and our partners - Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, Uragus Ecoclub, Phoenix Fund, the local administration and others - the Tiger Day Celebration in Terney is already in its 15th year.
According to most participants and organizers, this year’s Tiger Day Celebration was a great success. Despite weather forecasts promising heavy showers, everyone (both participants and organizers) wanted the holiday so badly that nature decided to take pity on us and produced wonderful warm weather.
Keeping with tradition, before celebrations kicked off, all participants walked with decorated columns and banners through the center of the village, from the administration building of the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve to the local park where festivities were organized, all the while keeping a safe physical distance from one another. Our team of WCS staff and volunteers carried portraits of past wildlife biologists who made significant contributions to the study and conservation of the Amur tiger.
Master classes began upon our arrival to the park. There were a lot of playgrounds with different educational, creative, and sporty activities. WCS organized a master class on decorating wooden cuts and making beautiful gift magnets. This year we also organized a new site where kids could feel like a true-to-life wildlife researcher. With a real VHF receiver with a Yagi antenna in their hands, young naturalists had to determine the correct direction and location of a "tiger" (a stuffed animal tagged with a radio collar) by the sound of a signal that amplified when the researcher approached it. In addition, we organized a “sweet table” with tasty buns and cheesecakes for kids.
Our colleagues from the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, the Uragus Eco-club, as well as the Terney Library also organized interesting workshops for kids. In addition to educational activities, together with our partners, we held an auction to give kids and their parents various souvenirs, with all proceeds going towards the establishment of a memorial for the first radio-collared tigress “Olga”. This tigress was carrying a radio-collar for 13 years (!) since the very inception of the Amur Tiger Project, run by WCS in coordination with Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve.
The holiday concluded with a lively evening program: a musical concert and the viewing of interesting videos about the work of volunteers as well as footage of wild animals in the Nature Reserve captured by camera traps. The Tiger Day Celebration ended with a flashmob, where kids, in the dark, stood in a pattern resembling a tiger's paw, illuminating the pattern by pointing phone flashlights towards a drone taking pictures from above.
All photos above by WCS Russia
Photo by Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Nature Reserve