Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Russia-wide Tiger Count Begins

Date:
December 1, 2004
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
A team of conservationists led by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the first range-wide count in nine years of Siberian (Amur) tigers, one of the world's most threatened big cats. The survey will involve hundreds of biologists hunters and trackers combing a variety of landscapes to find out how many Siberian tigers still exist in the wild.

Photo by Julie Maher (Copyright WCS).

NEW YORK (Nov. 30, 2004) -- A team of conservationists led by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the first range-wide count in nine years of Siberian (Amur) tigers, one of the world's most threatened big cats. The survey will involve hundreds of biologists hunters and trackers combing a variety of landscapes to find out how many Siberian tigers still exist in the wild. Last surveyed in 1996, the population, then estimated at 415-476 individuals, has been under continuing pressures from poaching, logging and hunting.

Related Articles


Speaking at a press conference held in Vladivostok, Russia, Dale Miquelle, Director of the WCS Russia Program, and coordinator for the project, said, "This tiger survey represents a milestone in cooperative, international conservation efforts, with full political support from both regional and national governmental bodies of the Russian Federation, as well as financial and technical support from the international conservation community."

Tiger surveys in Russia are conducted in winter, when a complete blanket of snow allows fieldworkers to canvass the vast region of the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range, which holds 95 percent of the remaining Siberian tigers. Beginning in December, the survey team will search for tracks left by tigers as they traverse their home ranges looking for prey. A geographic database records the location and characteristics of each track reported, allowing specialists to estimate minimum numbers of tigers in the entire region.

The lone remaining population of Siberian tigers was under intensive poaching pressures during the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in political and economic chaos, forcing local residents to seek any means, including poaching of endangered species like tigers, to earn a living.

The results of the last survey, along with subsequent monitoring, initially indicated that the Siberian tiger population had stabilized due in part to stepped-up enforcement efforts. However, in the past five-to-seven years, some indicators suggest that tiger numbers may again be decreasing. Fewer numbers of prey, possibly due to overhunting, may be at least partially responsible for a decline in reproduction, and along with continued poaching of tigers, may be driving tiger numbers to critically low levels. Thus, an assessment of numbers of prey, such as deer and wild boar that tigers depend upon, is also built into the survey design.

"Without information on the status of the prey base, we simply can't say with any certainty what the status of the tiger population is, or what the future holds," said Alexei Surovy, lead specialist of the Provincial Wildlife Management Department.

Formerly, under the Soviet system, a complex and well-regulated army of biologists and professional "hunters" or outdoorsmen, were sent into the forests, under mandate, to do the count. In the new political and economic climate, such scientific endeavors are more difficult, and the costs of doing such work have escalated dramatically.

"To develop effective strategies to conserve endangered species, it is essential to know how many there are out there," said Boris Tsoy, assistant Director of the Provincial Department of Natural Resources. "Such surveys, of course, are very expensive today, but thanks to the support of both the federal government and non-governmental organizations, we'll be able to obtain this vital information in 2005."

In fact, for the first time in 10 years the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources has allocated funds for tiger conservation, with $50,000 specifically earmarked for the survey. However, this amounts to only about one-sixth of the $300,000 required to do the work. Fortunately, a host of international organizations have come forward to provide the remaining amounts, including the Exxon-Mobile Save the Tiger Fund, the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, 21st Century Tiger, Wildlife Conservation Society, and WWF.

Despite the costs, most believe the investment is worthwhile. As Pavel Fomenko, WWF staff and one of 15 survey coordinators noted, "We need this information to obtain a complete understanding of the present state of the Siberian tiger population – both to assess whether our past efforts were effective, and to plan for future tiger conservation measures."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Russia-wide Tiger Count Begins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041130203757.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2004, December 1). Russia-wide Tiger Count Begins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041130203757.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Russia-wide Tiger Count Begins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041130203757.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins