Sunday, June 10, 2007

Anti-fire forest belt built for Russian leopard conservation

09.06.2007, 09.22

VLADIVOSTOK, June 9 (Itar-Tass) - A 92-kilometer-long fire-protection forest belt is being put up in Russia's Primorsky Territory to protect the habitat of the last 30 remaining Far Eastern leopards, a spokeswoman for the Far Eastern affiliate of the World Wildlife Fund told Tass on Saturday.

The first 2.5 kilometres of the forest belt have been planted in the southwest of the region, Yelena Starostina said. This is one of the stags of the affiliate's ecological project. She said the forest belt is planted along the line of engineering constructions on Russia’s border with China to prevent the spread of forest fires from there.

Fires have already changed the flora of the region. Rich woodlands have disappeared in favour of wasteland and thin forests. Animals are leaving these places and leopards remain without food. NewsID=11613822&PageNum=0

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