Tigers & Leopards Cross-border Conservation Co-construction of Homes for Tigers & Leopards27 july 2019
From July 27 to 30, 2019 International Forum on Tigers & Leopards Cross-border Conservation was successfully held in Harbin, a beautiful ice city in China. The meeting was sponsored by National Forestry and Grassland Administration and undertaken by Northeast Forestry University (Feline Research Center of National Forestry and Grassland Administration), and it was also strongly supported by Beijing Normal University (Northeast Tiger & Leopard Monitoring and Research Center of National Forestry and Grassland Administration), Heilongjiang Provincial Forestry and Grassland Administration, Northeast Tiger & Leopard National Park Administration, Northeast Asia Sub-regional Environmental Cooperation Mechanism, International Society of Zoological Sciences, China Wildlife Conservation Association, Guangdong Chimelong Flora and Fauna Conservation Foundation and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The forum aims to display the research results of tiger & leopard conservation in various countries, establish an international platform of tiger & leopard experts cooperation and exchange, construct a global network of tiger & leopard conservation research, discuss the hot issues and cutting-edge protection theories and technologies of tiger & leopard conservation research, and promote regional cooperation in tiger & leopard population and habitat protection, especially cooperation with tiger & leopard range countries bordering China.
Wang Yongkang, Vice Governor of Heilongjiang Province, said: "The protection of tigers and leopards in China has achieved some results: the number of tigers and leopards has increased and the quality of their habitats has improved; the habitat of Amur tigers has expanded from Wanda Mountains to Zhangguangcai and Laoyeling Mountains." Zhang Jianlong, Director-General of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, pointed out “to achieve the greater results of tiger and leopard conservation, the followings shall be focused: strengthen monitoring, design and build ecological corridors, deepen cross-border cooperation, and strengthen public education. Stuart Chapman, executive director of the WWF TAI, shared the successful experience in the conservation of wild pandas, saying: "The success of conservation of wild tigers and leopards will also promote the realization of conservation of other species."
At the meeting, hot issues of global tigers and leopards conservation were deeply discussed, including the development of feline population monitoring technologies and international standards, the study of feline population and habitat restoration technologies, the study of feline ecological functions, the study of feline behaviors, the study of feline protection landscape resources allocation technologies as well as the study of human wildlife conflict resolution. The conference also discussed the establishment of a global feline conservation research experts network.
Over the past hundred years, with economic development, threats of habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, habitat quality degradation and poaching have pushed wild tigers to the brink of extinction. The number of wild tigers in the world has dropped sharply from 100,000 to about 3,900, a decrease by about 97%. Among them, there are only about 500 wild tigers left in Northeast China and Siberia, Russia.
In 2010, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the governmental heads of and representatives from 13 wild tiger range countries jointly issued the Declaration of Governmental Heads from Wild Tiger Range Countries and launched the Global Wild Tiger Recovery Plan. The meeting in St. Petersburg sounded the trumpet to the world for the protection of wild tigers and the restoration of wild tiger population.
WWF and its partners have taken a series of wild tiger conservation actions, including tiger and leopard population monitoring, habitat assessment and corridor planning recommendation, capability development in the protected areas, anti-poaching projects, community sustainable development and public communications. Since 2013, WWF has worked with its partners to establish the monitoring network system of Amur tigers and leopards in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. About 1,300 infrared cameras have been set up in the key areas where the tigers are distributed, with the monitoring area up to 10,000 square km. WWF has introduced CA|TS standards to the tigers and leopards protected areas in China. It has also implemented the effective Mechanism of Assessment and Supervision of Anti-Poaching (MASAP), and improved capability development of rangers, with the total number of about 1,000 rangers trained. The 4th Ranger Competition held in Hunchun City, Jilin Province this year attracted more than 25 million public attention and aroused great responses in the society.
In the future, WWF will continue working with its partners on the priorities of tiger & leopard habitat restoration, corridor assessment and development, capability building of the protected areas and rangers as well as cross-border conservation, making joint efforts to meet the challenges in tiger & leopard conservation and restore the beautiful homes for tigers and leopards.