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Siberian Tiger Conservation in Russia's Far East Region

In the interests of protecting Siberian Tigers in the Far East region of Russia, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been conducting radio-tracking of more than sixty of these magnificent animals since 1992. Information gathered gives researchers an understanding of their food requirements, social structure, reproduction, mortality, and land use patterns, as well as their interaction with other wild species and humans.

It is estimated that there are only around 350 adult Siberian or Amur tigers remaining in the wild, with up to 95% of these being found in the Russian Far East, many of which are resident in the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve. Working with officials of the reserve, the WCS uses a combination of traditional field research practices and hi-tech equipment to gather more information than has ever before been possible, and based on information gathered, the WCS is able to make workable recommendations for conservation efforts in this particular region of Russia.

Cub mortality, dispersal and survivorship are the focus of current research, and in addition to conducting research and implementing conservation measures, the WCS is involved in addressing conflicts between tigers and humans. As humans continue to encroach on wildlife areas, it is inevitable that there will be conflict, and rather than killing tigers in these situations, the WCS captures, rehabilitates and relocates them in unpopulated areas.

Completed in 2008, the Sikhote-Alin Research Center is a training facility where Russian graduate students in the field of wildlife conservation and biology work together with foreign graduate students, WCS researchers and Sikhote-Alin Zapovednik scientific staff. Projects undertaken by these groups of researchers include camera trapping and assessing tiger populations, studying behavior of bears and researching the preferred habitats of Blakiston’s fish owls. This work of training future generations to protect and conserve the natural resources of the area is of utmost importance in ensuring the continued existence of indigenous animals such as the spectacular Siberian Tiger.

 



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