Tag Archives: Amur tigers

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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Siberian Tigers make a comeback in China

Siberian Tiger on prowl
Siberian Tiger on prowl. Photo: wallsave.com

Once believed nearly extinct in China, the Siberian tiger, the largest member of the cat family, is making a comeback, the result of a decade-long effort to restore its natural habitat by banning logging, hunting and trapping. Chinese have been amazed not only by the apparent growth of the tiger population but also by how far the felines have spread. It made headlines around China this year when tigers were seen near Jiamusi, a city 140 miles from the Russian border. In China, the number of Siberian tigers living in the wild (far smaller than those in captivity) has been listed in government statistics at between 18 and 22 for some years. Nobody knows the exact number, because the Chinese don’t have tracking collars on the tigers, but there could be as many as 40 now and that the population is growing. Conservationists believe that the number of tigers has doubled in the last decade and that the area populated by tigers has become much larger.

Siberian TigerCredit goes to campaigns to restore the degraded forests in China and Russia. The latter began tiger-protection efforts in the 1940s and has the largest population of Siberian tigers, between 400 and 900, according to the World Wildlife Fund. But in recent years, China has caught up and might even be moving ahead in creating tiger-friendly habitat. Chinese efforts on behalf of the Siberian tiger have won worldwide praise among environmentalists. A 2010 report in the journal of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies compared China’s preservation efforts favorably with India’s and ventured that China might even earn the right to claim it “saved the tiger.”

The King in his moods
The King in his moods

Tigers are endangered throughout the world: Their population in the wild has dwindled from an estimated 100,000 in the early 20th century to as few as 3,200 today. Siberian tigers, also known as Amur or Korean tigers, are among six surviving subspecies and are native to the boreal forests, or taiga, of China, Russia and North Korea. Although they weigh as much as 675 pounds, Siberian tigers are elusive creatures that slink into the forest when humans approach. Although Chinese still buy illegal body parts of tigers — poached in India or killed in captivity — for traditional medicine, the wild tigers have not been hunted in China since the 1950s. In fact, hunting of all animals except rats is banned in China.

But many people in the down-at-the-heels villages near the Russian border trap other animals, which also has an effect on tigers. First of all, tigers can easily be snared in traps. More important, trapping sets off a destructive cycle of theft; if humans steal the deer and wild pigs that are the tigers’ natural prey, the tigers in turn are prompted to steal the humans’ livestock.

Source: Tiger chronicles/WWF/LA Times