Carnivore conservation can be very challenging because the actions of carnivores often are resented by humans. Carnivores depredate livestock or reduce abundance of wildlife valued by hunters thereby coming into direct conflict with humans. Retaliation is invariably swift and involves killing those individuals responsible for the depredation.
Since 1999 Phoenix has been paying compensations to farmers suffering from livestock depredation in order to discourage farmers and villagers from killing predators. Due to limited funding, the program runs only in Khasan district, where Amur leopards are the priority for conservation.
In 2012, Phoenix paid monthly compensation to the owner of Olenevod deer farm where a leopardess fell into the habit of killing deer. The leopardess named Sophia had been radio collared earlier by Russian scientists of A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Problems, Russian Academy of Sciences, which helped monitor animal’s movements across a vast area of the deer farm. After several months of monitoring, the scientists noticed that the leopardess spent much time on the same area, did not leave the spot for a long time, and forbore from long-distance movement. Such behaviour of the animal suggested that the leopardess had given birth to cubs and could not leave the litter without protection. But it was obvious, that she would go on hunting in the deer farm, trying to get even more food, to feed herself and the young. This could lead to retaliation from the farmer over livestock depredation, and Phoenix offered the owner of the deer farm to sign an agreement on compensation for his loss caused by leopardess attacks. Such cooperation proved to be a success! Both the farmer and the leopard family are enjoying a peaceful co-existence now.
In total, since 1999 up to present moment (Dec 2012) $37,349 was paid.