Securing wild tulips and montane grasslands in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is home to at least 27 wild tulip species, more than a third of the global total. At the height of spring, these beautiful species carpet mountain slopes in a brilliant show of yellow, orange and red. Such sites are, however, becoming increasingly rare. Tulips are in decline across the country, with most species struggling to cope with high levels of grazing pressure on these same mountain slopes. The loss of these species is an indicator of the declining health of these pastures. Intensive grazing also degrades soil, adversely affects other native plants and invertebrates, and reduces the quality of forage needed to sustain healthy livestock (which form a major part of local livelihoods and culture).
Conserving threatened fruit-and-nut forests in Tajikistan
This project is focused on the Childukhtaron and Dashitijum Nature Reserves in Tajikistan. Only 3% of the country is forested so both reserves are identified in Tajikistan’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan as two of the country’s three most valuable walnut-maple forest sites, with a rich variety of wild fruit and nut trees, including critically endangered pears, Pyrus tadshikistanica and Pyrus korshinskyi, as well as the vulnerable almond Amygdalus bucharica and apple Malus sieversii.
Conserving migrating raptors in western Georgia
The illegal trapping and sale of birds for falconry, a traditional practice in Georgia, pose a threat to raptor species. It is estimated that 200,000 birds are trapped each year with 5,000 being smuggled out of the country. For some species, birds regarded as low quality are also killed to remove them from populations.
Bringing new voices to marine protection in Scotland
Scotland’s coast supports a multitude of species, such as basking sharks and dolphins, vast populations of seabirds along with cold-water corals and maerl beds. Although Scotland has recently established a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), the voices of the local communities that live in and around the coast are often left unheard in the management of their seas.
Conserving Black Sea sturgeon in Georgia
Sturgeon is the most globally threatened family of fish, and all species face severe challenges throughout their distribution. In the Black Sea, only three rivers are known to have suitable habitat for spawning: the Danube, Garonne and Rioni rivers. Six critically endangered sturgeon species have their last refuge in the Rioni River in Georgia, which unlike the Danube and Garonne rivers, had no sturgeon conservation programme.
Conserving threatened trees in Armenia
One of the most interesting taxonomic floral groups in Armenia is the wild pear. In Armenia there are 32 known pear species, 12 of which are endemic. Six of these are found only in the southern part of the country. The Herher state sanctuary, established in 1958, is home to the only known population of the critically endangered Gergeranian pear. Since the sanctuary’s establishment no in-depth studies have been conducted and there is an urgent need for proper planning and protection of the site.
Addressing the decline of critically endangered saiga antelope
The global saiga antelope population has declined by over 95% over the last 20 years - one of the fastest recorded declines for a mammal. FFI is a partner in the Altyn Dala Conservation Initiative (ADCI), a joint initiative delivered together with the Association for the Conservation of the Biodiversity of Kazakhstan (ACBK), the Committee of Forestry and Wildlife of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, Frankfurt Zoological Society and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The goal of ADCI is the conservation and restoration of steppe, semi-desert and desert ecosystems and their species in Kazakhstan.
Conserving the charismatic snow leopard
FFI has been helping to conserve the charismatic but threatened snow leopard in Kyrgyzstan for over 13 years. Currently we continue to support the Sarychat-Ertash Reserve to improve its capacity to protect the snow leopard and other alpine species. We have also supported the governments in both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in developing national snow leopard action plans to deliver more effective coordination and management for the species.
Protecting Sarychat-Ertash Reserve in Kyrgyzstan
Sarychat-Ertash Reserve is a flagship protected area, located high in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan. This 150,000-hectare nature reserve is a key site for snow leopards, and is also home to other important alpine species such as Marco Polo sheep and ibex. In consultation with both local and foreign experts, FFI supported reserve staff in developing a management plan for Sarychat-Ertash (the first such plan in Kyrgyzstan) and is now supporting implementation of that plan.
Conserving fruit-and-nut forests in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan’s fruit-and-nut forests are biodiversity hotspots and of great importance for the people living there. The forests are specifically home to wild relatives of a number of fruit and nut species and are said to be the origin of all commercial apple species (which is important from a genetic perspective). Although not formerly designated, all forest areas are protected in Kyrgyzstan. However, the forests still face threats from livestock grazing, tree cutting, firewood collection, construction activities and lack of management.