Kazakhstan is reintroducing wild tigers after more than 70 years

Kazahkstan, Astana, Expo 2017, Tiger, travel, wildlife, conservationist, adventure

Most people don’t know a whole lot about Kazakhstan. Despite the relative mystery that surrounds the country, however, I can assure you that it is one of the most interesting, exciting, and beautiful places on earth.

And it just got a little more awesome.

Late last week, the country announced plans to reintroduce tigers into its wilderness. These reintroduced tigers, which will be injected into Kazakhstan’s Ili-Balkhash region, will be the first in the area for upward of 70 years.

This plan to reintroduce tigers into the Kazakh wilderness, which is in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is being applauded by conservationists everywhere. The plan is in coordination with an internationally-organized measure called Tx2, which strives to double the population of wild tigers in 13 tiger range countries by the year 2022 (the next Year of the Tiger.)

“We applaud the Republic of Kazakhstan for the vision and leadership shown in embarking on a most ambitious and exciting conservation challenge to bring back this majestic predator to the country,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International (h/t care2.com). “This is a major contribution to securing a future for tigers in the wild and also a critical step toward protecting the Ili-Balkhash region for its unique biodiversity and important natural systems that people rely on.”

This plan to reintroduce tigers into the Kazakh wilderness is but the latest example of the country’s commitment to green development.

“Kazakhstan is moving along the path of green development,”said Askar Myrzakhmetov, the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan. “We are honoured to be the first country in Central Asia to implement such an important and large-scale project, that not only will bring wild tigers back to their ancestral home, but also protect the unique ecosystem of the Ili-Balkhash region.” 

Unsurprisingly, re-introducing a healthy and stable tiger population into the the Ili-Balkhash region will not be an easy task. Yet Kazakhstan, the country that hosted Expo 2017 with a focus on “future energy,” is more than equipped to pull it off.

“The hard work remains ahead of us,”said Ekaterina Vorobyeva, Director of WWF-Russia Central Asia programme. “We have to up our efforts to make this region ready for tigers and involve all stakeholders to make this happen. That means tackling poaching and illegal activities, having well-trained and equipped rangers, thriving prey populations and engaged local communities.” 

So there you have it. Another reason beautiful Kazakhstan should be at the forefront of your attention, and another reason to consider it when plotting your next adventure.

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This article debuted on WildLives.co on 9/12/2017.

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