In his opening speech at seminar “Increasing the utilization efficiency of hunting lands”, Andrey Knorr, Deputy Governor on agricultural industry and environmental management, noted that the seminar was organized at the initiative of hunting providers which proves their involvement and readiness to work on increasing the appeal of hunting lands for the development of business.
“The seminar is taking place within the frameworks of the Russia’s first Renewable natural resources cluster that has united four areas – hunting lands, fisheries, forestry, stocking and deep processing of wild crops” – Mr. Knorr said.
Viktor Sirotin, Head of Department of Hunting and Fisheries of the Tomsk Region, presented the main information on the status of hunting sector in the region. According to him, the total area of hunting lands is over 30 million hectares, their total economic merit amounting to 10 billion rubles. “Hunting resources are being used rationally, based on available stock, the volume of which is identified by inventory activities – Mr. Sirotin says. – The inventory data shows that the stock of most game, wild fowls and animals remain sufficient to continue operation”.
Viktor Sirotin identified the main challenges that authorities and hunting providers face these days. In particular, the main problem that hampers the maintaining of the population of moose and regulated hunting is the increase in poaching during the crusted snow and gnat-heavy period. “Meanwhile the decline in the sable population in the lands of several areas of the Tomsk Region may be related to exceptionally poor yield of cedar pine nuts, which in 2015 led to sable migration to adjacent territories beyond the region’s borders” – Mr. Sirotin added. Apart from that, the Tomsk Region has seen an increased population of brown bears and beavers. To address the problem, the participants of the seminar have voiced their initiative to introduce relevant legislative amendments in draft federal law “On hunting” and extend the time for brown bear hunting until January 10.
The position of hunting providers was presented by Sergey Kovalenko, Head of Ket hunting grounds. According to him, the main challenge is the development of the hunting sector as a full-fledged economy sector with workplaces, active small and medium business, deep processing facilities, etc.
“To address the challenge, we must increase the economic capacity of hunting lands and create conditions for deeper processing of hunting products. Of no less importance are measures on increased control over hunting and the market of hunting products, stimulation of the use of new technical means in hunting, including innovative monitoring technology” – the businessman noted. The ties between hunting providers and science can be strengthened by the establishment of the regional monitoring center for biodiversity and quantitative composition of hunting species, where scientists would work alongside hunting providers.
The experts expressed support of the policy of the Tomsk Region Administration, the proposals of hunting providers and the work of the Renewable resources cluster. Apart from the economic challenge, the experts believe it is important to overcome the dominance in media of the image of a hunter in connection to negative news items on poaching. A wide and qualified representation of hunting lands in media is required, as well as the promotion of a positive image of hunters.
During the seminar, its participants reviewed the issues related to the population management of hoofed animals, fur game, large carnivores, beaver, monitoring of the composition population of hunting species, the use of humane gear, modern technical means and the development of professional standards.
In his lecture on the management of beaver population, Aleksandr Savelyev, Leading research fellow of Department of Zoo-ecology of All-Russian Research Institute for Hunting Husbandry and Livestock Breeding, honorary member of the German Society on Wild Animal Research and Hunting, noted that nowadays there is increased demand in Russia and on the international market for beaver hunting products, including fur items, meat, castor, tail skin, merchandise, biologically active food supplements.
Regarding the management of sable population, Vladimir Monakhov, Leading research fellow of the Laboratory of Ecology of Game Resources from the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of RAS, proposed a series of recommendation for hunting providers of the Tomsk Region. Namely, the expert proposed the usage of specific sable removal techniques at the trapping locations, modern methods of age determination based on the layers in the fang cement and relative widths of the fang canal that reduce error more than three-fold. Vladimir Monakhov also mentioned that specialized companies should be developed in order to produce more standardized high quality fur and skin items for the Russian and foreign markets.
Nikolay Markov from the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of RAS, spoke about the main ways of moose population management. He noted that in order to increase the efficiency of moose population monitoring, it is necessary to use innovative methods including camera traps, quadcopters and radio collars. As for priority measures to increase the usage efficiency of hunting lands, the expert recommended to have a joint hunting planning session among and within hunting-related entities and the update of the map of locations, protection and use of hunting lands in the Tomsk Region.
Upon the conclusion of the seminar, a resolution will be drawn up, containing the initiatives and objectives discussed during the seminar, as well as the roadmap on the improvement of business conditions in the hunting sector.