Census at Amur Tigers

Search for tracks in the snow

Amur Tiger WWF Canon / Vladimir FILONOV
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In the Russian Far East, conservationists recently launched the most comprehensive tiger census since 1996. In the last survey, the number of Amur tigers was estimated at around 450 animals. The WWF and other conservation organizations hope that efforts to rescue the tigers have been worthwhile and that the number of tigers may even have risen again.

Inventory has been running since December 2004

Frank Mörschel, who coordinates the conservation projects in the Russian Far East at WWF Germany, believes that the stocks have remained stable since then: "The census will hopefully show that our years of efforts to protect the tigers have paid off. If the number of animals has even increased, that would be a huge environmental success in the Russian Far East. "

Already since December, more than 1, 000 field researchers have been traveling in the mostly barely accessible and sparsely populated terrain in the Russian provinces of Primorski and Khabarovski Krai to track down the traces of the last remaining Amur tigers in the snow. Since February 9, 2005, they are going on a 5-day march on the Tiger routes over a distance of about 10, 000 kilometers and record every single track exactly.

Until reliable results are available, go in the opinion of Frank Mörschel still some months in the country. The survey should also provide information about the stocks of the prey of the tiger. The WWF financially supports the tiger census and is instrumental in the conception and organization.

Three meter long giants

The Amur tigers were almost extinct by 1940 - only an estimated 30 animals had escaped the hunters. Thanks to efforts in the former Soviet Union as well as a protection project initiated in 1993 by WWF Germany, the stock recovered to around 450 animals. The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is also called Siberian Tiger and is the largest representative among the tigers. display

The males are up to 300 kg heavy and measure from the tail tip to the chewing hair in some cases more than three feet. The animals are in demand mainly for the demand for tiger bones in traditional Asian medicine and for their fur. The hunt for them is forbidden since 1947.

(WWF, 11.02.2005 - DLO)