Press Service of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
On March 31, 2013, new fixed charges for damage caused to wildlife species included in the Russian Red Data Book came into force.
According to the order of Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, charges for damage, for example, caused to Amur tiger and Amur leopard will increase from 500 thousand rubles to 1.1 million rubles, snow leopard – from 300 thousand rubles to 1.1 million rubles, and birds of prey – gyrfalcon from 250 thousand rubles to 1.1 million rubles, and Saker Falcon and Peregrine Falcon – up to 600 thousand rubles.
Enhanced sanctions are related to a group of Red Book species that was created based on expert assessment and includes the following species: Golden Eagle, gyrfalcon, Saker Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Polar bear (all three Russian populations), Amur tiger, Amur leopard, snow leopard, bison, Mongolian gazelle or zeren, Amur goral, wild goat, Altai argali, and subspecies of snow sheep.
Increase in fixed charges must lead to significantly increased financial risks for wildlife black market participants. New charges will let discourage wildlife crimes and help reduce poaching. Thus, along with responsibilities envisaged by Russian legislature violators will have to pay compensation for damage to wildlife according to new fixed charges.
These measures along with a draft federal law On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation recently submitted by Vladimir Putin to the State Duma must toughen responsibilities for illegal harvest and trade in wildlife.
It should be noted that the draft federal law mentioned above envisages criminal responsibility for catching and trading, including keeping, transporting and selling of Amur tigers, leopards, and other rare and endangered species included in Red Data Book of the Russian Federation or protected by international treaties.