Strategy for conservation of the Amur Tiger in the Russian Federation
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is the world’s northernmost subspecies of tiger. It is the largest cat species in Asia and, at one time, was widely distributed throughout the continent. Most of the other tiger subspecies are endangered, but thanks to measures taken during the second half of the 20th Century, particularly from 1993 to 2003, the Amur tiger is not threatened with imminent extinction. Nevertheless, continued habitat degradation caused by human activity, together with poaching and the illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives, are grounds for serious concern for the destiny of the subspecies. Approximately 95% of the entire Amur tiger population lives within the Russian Far East, in particular in the Primorsky Region and the southern part of Khabarovsk Region. Russia, therefore, shoulders the main responsibility for conserving this large predator species.
The tiger is at the peak of the food web, a key element of which is the coniferous/broadleaf forest that is found in the southern part of the Russian Far East. Preserving viable populations of the Amur tiger in its natural habitat is integrally linked to the conservation of complete natural forest ecosystems that are in themselves essential to the survival of mankind itself.
The need to protect the Amur tiger in the Russian Far East is provided for in current legislation. The Amur tiger is listed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation. Its protection is enshrined by a number of federal laws (eg. Law On Environmental Protection, Law On Wildlife and Law On Specially Protected Natural Areas) and also by international agreements (ie. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, (CITES)). The Russian Federation is party to both of these international conventions. In addition, tiger conservation measures are listed in, amongst other documents, the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation On the Conservation of the Amur Tiger and Other Rare and Endangered Wildlife Species within Primorsky and Khabarovsk Regions, No. 795 of 7 August 1995, and the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Conservation Strategy for Rare and Endangered Species of Animals, Plants and Fungi, No. 323 of 6 April 2004.
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