The Stepnoi nature reserve is a haven for wildlife in the Astrakhan region of Russia, protecting not just saigas but also birds of prey, reptiles and other steppe and desert flora and fauna.
The aim of the project is to build capacity for ecotourism, which will both highlight the importance of the reserve for conservation locally and among visitors, and raise much needed funds for conservation and research.
Signs and an information leaflet will be developed for visitors to the reserve, and ecological information will be given both to visitors and to local people living around the reserve. The project will also help to strengthen the protection and anti-poaching activities of the reserve staff.
Photo: Director of the Stepnoi Reserve Anatoly Khludnev (left) and one of his rangers, at the reserve border. (c) E.J. Milner Gulland