Who Manages Durminskoye?
Alexander Batalov is the creator of the Durminskoye reserve and also its director. He is not only educated in Wildlife Conservation (he graduated from the Wildlife Faculty of the Irkutsk State Academy of Agriculture in Irkutsk, Siberia), but has over 35 years in experience with wildlife management of game reserves like Durminskoye.
Alexander works together with his family – his son Sergey Batalov as senior inspector and guide, as well as local community and student volunteers which help supervise the reserve and its buffer zone.
Alexander in his career has published around 40 scientific studies on the wildlife ecology and rational usage of game resources including methodical instructions on monitoring and tracking the populations of local wildlife. One of his more notable contributions was author of the redesign project of the Komsomolsk State preserve when the decision was taken to move it to an improved territory. (At present the Komsomolsk State reserve is now a success and an important habitat for +230 species of birds including sea eagles, 45 species of mammals, and a key habitat for migrating and spawning fish such as salmon.
For 3 years he has been working as a vice director on the scientific work at the Bolshekhetsirsky State reserve (Khabarovsk territory) located adjacent to China. During these years he published six scientific works on the wildlife preservation and development of international relations for the reserve's benefit.
At present Alexander works as a director of the Durminskoye forest and game reserve, where he tries to implement his experience in rational usage of the wildlife resources considering interests of the wildlife preservation. Thanks to the advent of camera traps, Alexander and his team have constant photo and video observation of the wild animals and tiger residing in the reserve.
Alexander dedicates a lot of his time and efforts to the "popularization" and awareness building of local wildlife preservation – for this purpose the Durminskoye reserve cooperates with the Priamurskiye Vedomosti Publishing House. As a result, Russia's first edition of locally produced photo books specifically about the Amur tiger and Himalayan bear have been published, including Alexander's work "Tiger and Bear at the Khabarovsk Coat of Arms" which was published in both Russian and English. Alexander Batalov's photos and articles about the Ussuri taiga flora and fauna were also published in different books, booklets, textbooks, directories and books for the children which also helps to promote the ideas of wildlife preservation. He is also a writing a column "We and Wildlife" at the regional newspaper "Priamurskiye Vedomosty".
Most recently, the reserve and its team were featured on international media, including Gordon Buchanan's documentary Amba the Russian Tiger (as seen on Animal Planet) and has also been featured on several Japanese TV documentaries.
Ultimately though, the above experience has made Alexander a man rich with stories about the Ussuri taiga that he's eager to share with visitors to the reserve.