Amur tigers are increasing in Russia

Amur TigerThe population of the Amur tigers in the Khabarovsk Region National Park has reached 10. This is approximately three times more than it was three years ago, when the “North Tiger” project was first implemented, the Amur branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of Russia reports.  The Amur tiger is the strongest felid and the only one managed to adapt oneself to life in the taiga snows. In the early 2000-ies, the population of the Amur tiger was notably decreasing in the Far East. Creation of a special Fund for Protection of the Amur Tiger in Russia helped to solve the problem of preserving and increasing the population of these rare animals.

Amur Tiger cubsAccording to the results, it was decided to extend the project. Earlier, the Russian government approved the “Strategy for the preservation of rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi in Russia throughout 2030.” The increase in the number of the Amur tigers is a great success of the Khabarovsk Region National Park’s staff. This region is home to the most Northern grouping of striped cats. Until recently, they numbered no more than 20 individuals. The goal is to at least double the population by 2020.

Amur tiger with a cubIn the first year of our activity, three tigers were registered there. Now, 10 tigers are registered in the territory of the Park. So, the increase in the number begins to show. Primarily, it is due to the fact that most of the territory is under protection now, closed for year-round visits. Thus, a certain area of peace was created. Since the first year of its work, the National Park has also carried out biotechnical activities on feeding wild ungulates, and thus increasing the food supply of the tiger.

Amur TigerThe “Northern Tiger” project became successful due to the complex approach to the problem of conservation and restoration of rare species of animals. About 413 animal species are now included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, plus more than 70 regions of the country have their own regional Red Data Books. All the animals in these lists are excluded from economic activity. Their own programs of protection and increase of population are developed for many species. Anti-poaching services also play their positive role. Last year, an upgrading of penalties for killing, transportation and storage of rare species of animals or their parts was implemented. For example, previously, a poacher could be brought to account only if he was detained in the forest. Now, this applies to the transport of, say, skins, and storage. It also helps to protect rare species.

Amur tiger cooling off.
Amur tiger cooling off.

Census of tigers is conducted once every ten years in Russia, the last one took place in 2005. Besides, an annual accounting at monitoring sites is conducted. In 2005, there were approximately 450 tigers in the whole areal, about a hundred of them lived in the Khabarovsk region, the rest – in Primorye.  Primorye also reported growth last year. This is said to be the world’s largest tiger population, which lives in a not fragmented areal. The total number of Bengal tigers in India, of course, is higher than in Russia. But they live in small groups of 60-70 tigers and are isolated from each other, while Russia have, in fact, a huge habitat, where tigers can easily go to see each other. Last year it was also decided that a new national park where Amur tigers are going to be bred will be opened in Primorye.

(All photos : EPA, source: voiceofrussia.com)

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