State Duma deputy proposes to allow hunt for Red Book animals

State Duma deputy proposes to allow hunt for Red Book animals
Photo: Znak.com

The Ministry of Natural Resources promised to address this issue. Ministry representatives believe that hunting can be allowed only for species with a restored and stable population.

State Duma deputy and member of the Mountain Hunters Club Presidium Vladislav Reznik asked the Ministry of Natural Resources to assess the possibility of allowing trophy hunting for animals from the Red Book in Russia in exchange for financing the protection of these species, Kommersant reports. Reznik sent a corresponding request to the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Ivan Valentik. 

In his request, Reznik notes that measures taken by the state to preserve rare and endangered animal species “cannot be considered sufficient in the face of tight budget constraints.” The deputy mentioned special programs for the preservation of these species, which are “successfully developed and introduced” in world practice. 

Individuals "representing the lowest value for the population" are seized by trophy hunting for value as part of such programs. The proceeds are directed to research and preservation measures for endangered species. Reznik proposed “to work out the possible implementation of similar programs in the Russian Federation.” 

For this purpose, the deputy asked the department to answer a number of questions, mainly concerning the amount of funds allocated to measures for the preservation of rare species and their habitat in specially protected natural territories. Among other things, Reznik asked to provide the dynamics of the numbers of the Altai mountain sheep, the Chukotka population of the Yakut subspecies of bighorn sheep, Amur goral, and the Plutoran subspecies of bighorn sheep from the moment they are listed in the Red Book. 

In a conversation with Kommersant, he stressed that he did not offer to start hunting for rare species, but asked to collect information to discuss whether this was possible or not. He noted that similar programs exist in a number of other countries, but he did not have the necessary information to take a clear position regarding the implementation of similar solutions in Russia. 

In 2016, President of the Mountain Hunters Club Eduard Bendersky sent a letter to Aleksandr Khloponin, who oversaw the field of environmental management at the post of deputy prime minister at that time, asking for five permits to kill the Plutoransky bighorn sheep in exchange for helping finance the protection programs for this subspecies in the amount of 15 million rubles ($227,475). Back then, Khloponin instructed the Ministry of Environment "to support and prepare a pilot project for the interaction" with the Mountain Hunters Club. In 2017, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage (Rosprirodnadzor) refused to issue animal permits.

The Ministry of Natural Resources notes that in some countries, the approach proposed by Reznik is actually applied. Currently, any commercial use of Red Book animals is prohibited in Russia. At the same time, the Ministry of Natural Resources confirmed that the amount of funds allocated from the federal budget for the protection of endangered species of animals is insufficient.

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