2022 - Year of Tiger
The Amur tiger is one of the key species supported by WWF Russia. By preserving the Amur tiger, we preserve the ecosystem of the entire Amur-Heilong region. Thanks to the actions of the state, public environmental organizations, the help of business and common people, the handsome Amur tiger was able to step with us into the third millennium. With our help, the proud predator was able to overcome that edge, that last line, at which he was in the middle of the last century. But the future of the tiger still depends on us, and we will do everything for his well-being.
What are WWF-Russia’s actions under the Amur tiger conservation program?
- Create protected areas to preserve tiger habitats;
- Equip and support anti-poaching and fire-fighting brigades;
- Restore ungulate numbers in tiger habitats.
Protected Areas (PAs) are a mainstay of tiger conservation. However, simply designating a tiger area as ‘protected’ is not enough. It is important that these protected areas effectively perform the functions for which they were created. There are a number of tools to assess the role of a protected area and to understand how to improve its work. CA|TS (Conservation Assured | Tiger Standards) is one of them.
It was developed by international conservation organizations - the Global Tiger Forum (GTF), WWF’s Tiger Alive Initiative, IUCN and the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) to implement the Tiger Recovery Program, which was announced in 2010 at the Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg and set a global goal to double wild tiger numbers by the year 2022.
CA|TS Tiger Habitat Certification is a one-stop tool for monitoring, demonstrating and ensuring the efficiency of tiger area management. It includes 17 standards that will help manage tiger territories and evaluate the effectiveness of this management.
To implement certification, CA|TS is in dialogue with all tiger range countries in Southeast Asia. Russia, with 13% of the world's total tiger population, is regarded as the second largest tiger habitat, and its participation is of great importance in promoting tiger certification.
In 2015, the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve became the first in Russia and the second in the world (after the Chitwan National Park in Nepal) CA|TS approved protected area.
The list of candidates for obtaining CA|TS certificate includes 5 more protected areas from Russia: Anyuisky, Land of the Leopard, Bikin, Zov tigra national parks and Lazovsky Nature Reserve.
According to WWF-Russia, many tiger PAs in our country have a high chance of successfully passing certification, which allows to demonstrate to the world community, within the framework of the Tiger Summit 2022, how effective tiger conservation has been performed in Russia.
AMUR TIGER: Facts and Details
Amur tiger habitat in Russia
tigers in the
Russian Far East
already in PAs
The number of Amur tigers
in the Far East of Russia
tiger hunting ban since 1947
ban on catching tiger cubs since 1956
The main diet of the Amur tiger
ungulates per year
usually 1-2 cubs, rarely 3
What threatens Amur tigers?
The most significant factor threatening the existence of the Amur tiger in Russia is its direct destruction. Studies show that 72-83% of tiger deaths occur due to human fault, mainly as a result of poaching. Natural death is only 17-28%. In addition to hunt the Amur tiger to sale its derivatives on black market, there are other motives for its illegal shooting: to get rid of the tiger as a competitor in hunting grounds, when the tiger attacks domestic animals and livestock, at random meetings, when a person perceives the tiger as a source of danger.
Industrial development of tiger habitats
Most of the river valleys and lowland lands, where the populations of ungulates and the Amur tiger reached their maximum number before their intensive human development, now occupied by villages and agricultural land. As a result, the Amur tiger was displaced into lower quality habitats, with less fodder productivity, which made its population more susceptible to the negative impact of anthropogenic factors, including the clear-cut felling, unsustainable hunting management that undermine the tiger's food base.
Illegal logging and wildfires
Currently, the effect of habitat destruction is amplified by the continued harvesting of Korean cedar, logging of Mongolian oak and other tree species of the essential floodplain forests. As a result, the area of habitats suitable for the Amur tiger is reduced, and the quality of ungulate habitats, its main diet, is also reduced, which ultimately leads to a decrease of the ecological capacity of habitats. The fire hazard of forests increased as a result of violation of fire safety measures during felling, timber and trimmings are not removed after logging, also as a result of forest roads construction, public access to the forest is facilitated, which in the vast majority of cases is the cause of wildfires, and even more so the organization of forest fire safety by commercial logging companies has been reduced.
Spread of infectious diseases
A number of infectious diseases can lead to the death of both adult tigers and young cubs, as well as a decrease in the fertility of sexually mature individuals. The tiger can receive a significant part of infectious diseases both when contacting relatives and when eating prey, primarily carnivores (badger, raccoon dog, bear, lynx). Contact with domestic animals and livestock, which can carry a number of diseases dangerous to the tiger, can also pose a threat to the Amur tiger.
HELP THE TIGERS
Caution, there comes a tiger!
Attention, there comes a tiger! On Nov 2nd, Ge Lin and her colleagues from Jilin Forestry Investigation and Planning Institute encountered an amur tiger on the way of the field work. WWF reminds you that if you pass through the forest road of tiger range, please slow down; in case of tigers an other wild animals encounter, please close the doors and windows, you may keep a safe distance, and slowly drive away.Learn more >
URBANTIGER will release 580 jackets for the benefit of 580 Amur tigers
WWF Russia and a brand for stylish and technological cloths URBANTIGER have released an astonishing collaboration in favor of the Amur tigers. Future owners of each of 580 jackets – a number equal to the number of the striped animals – will create the jackets themselves thus investing into the rare cat conservation.Learn more >
Tigers connect me and my hometown
In Northeast China lies areas of intact forest that have been relatively undisturbed by humans. This special area is the home of Amur tigers. We hear an account about what it takes to protect this area, from Liu Duo, an anti-poaching officer with WWF-China.Learn more >
VTB and WWF support the rehab center “Tigr” in Primorye
Thanks to the joint project of VTB and WWF Russia, the Center for the Rehabilitation “TIGR” received an ISUZU pickup truck and a Yamaha Grizzly ATV with complete set and a trailer for its transportation for effective work on the rehabilitation of large predators and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts.Learn more >
Earth Hour：Connect to Tigers
On March 27, 2021, "Earth Hour" highlights "action" and "hope", stresses the issues of global biodiversity decrease and habitat loss, brings people from all over the world together, arouses their attention on nature conservation.Learn more >
Build Corridor for Tigers
Today is the 10th Global Tiger Day. The world's existing tiger habitat full of problems, serious fragmentation, degradation of forest vegetation, increased risk of human and wildlife conflict, etc. To realize the harmonious coexistence of human and tiger, we need to build a lot of "roads" for tigers.Learn more >
WWF Russia has allocated 2 million rubles to fight forest fires in “tiger” protected areas of the Sihkote-Alin mountain range
Due to an abnormally hot summer, wildfires broke out in the Russian Far East in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve and in the Bikin National Park. Aviation equipment was used to fight the fire in hard-to-reach taiga areas. To compensate these unforeseen expenses, WWF Russia has allocated 1 million rubles to each to the reserve and the national park.Learn more >
An Amur Tiger Cub Named Almaz Born in Nordens Ark Zoo in Sweden
Almaz (Diamond in Russian) is the son of Sparta, the tigress, who was rescued in the Russian Far East 14 years ago. WWF congratulates Nordens Ark Zoo – a long-term partner in conservation of the northernmost group of Amur tigers in Russia – with a new addition!Learn more >
WWF-Russia: deep snow in the Russian Far East threatens the ungulates with death
The past two heavy snowfalls in the Amur tiger range have caused huge problems for wild ungulates and rare predators this winter. WWF Russia calls on game users and all interested organizations to strengthen anti-poaching work and to support ungulates in order to mitigate the consequences of the climatic anomalyLearn more >
WWF: construction of a marine LPG terminal in Primorye threatens leopard and tiger habitats
The General Board of State Expert Review (Glavgosexpertiza) approved construction of a marine terminal for transshipment of liquid petroleum gases on a distance of 40 meters from the nature reserve, despite the protests of the public and the Land of the Leopard National Park.Learn more >
Our partner artist Matthew Twombly create this story in the form of a comics.
Man and tiger
Human interactions with tigers, likewise with all large predators, have always been a challenging issue. On one hand, due to human activities, by the early 1990s the Amur tigers have faced extinction. On the other hand, again thanks to humans, over the past years the population of the Amur tiger has grown and continues to grow. The increase in tiger numbers have caused a new set of challenges such as more space and food, but people interfere again: irrational deforestation is still continuing within the big cat habitat, forest fires increasingly occur due to humans’ fault, poaching and unsustainable wildlife management remains a major cause for concern.
Poaching has become the greatest threat to tigers. Until 1947, people hunted tigers freely, in 1978 the Amur tiger was listed in the Red Book. The poaching has drastically increased since the collapse of the Soviet Union. People’s living standards and income declined, the system of environment protection and nature resources management formed during the years of socialism was practically destroyed, which led to a sharp increase in cases of poaching. This trend was strengthened by smugglers trading tiger skins and derivatives, which was facilitated by the liberalization of Russia's relations with neighboring countries.
Moreover, with regard to tiger, any type of poaching has a serious impact, including poaching on ungulates, because the tiger crowns the top of the food pyramid, and poachers destroy, among other things, the tiger's prey base.
Anti-poaching work is one of the most important tasks in tiger conservation.
THE DESTRUCTION AND FRAGMENTATION OF TIGER HABITAT
The Ussuri taiga is a haven for the Amur tiger. It is here, in the heart of intact forest, the predator does feel truly at home. Forest fires, which often occur both due to natural phenomena, but also to humans’ fault, and persistent logging destroy a fragile ecosystem which all its inhabitants including tigers need.
The conservation of forests and the enlargement of protected areas covered by intact forests is the keystone to the well-being of the entire ecosystem and to the maintenance of favorable conditions for the life of the Amur tiger and, after all, to the prevention of human-tiger conflicts.
Tigers do not seek contact with humans under normal circumstances. The typical behavior of a tiger at the sight of people is to go deep into the forest, and in well-situated conditions, tigers try to stay away from places where they feel presence of people.
However, the worsening of living conditions, first of all, the lack of ungulates, the main item in tiger diet, can make the tiger approach human settlements and kill livestock and dogs for food. This causes reasonable tension and concern among local residents.
To resolve such situations, special Rapid Response Teams were formed in the Russian Far East to minimize human-wildlife conflicts. When people encounter a predator near settlements, they contact such a task force. Rapid Response Teams come and, if necessary, capture and place the predator to a rehabilitation center. There are two such centers in the south of the Far East: Utyos in Khabarovsky province and the Rehab Center TIGR in Primorye.
At rehabilitation centers, animals are provided with treatment and food, and prepared to be released into the wild. Before release, predators are tagged with a GPS collar: it allows specialists to track and control its movements and behavior in order to minimize conflicts with humans.
The tiger is one of the perfect creations of nature. Powerful, large and incredibly beautiful beast. The tiger is considered the so-called umbrella species: being at the top of the natural pyramid, it is one of the final subjects by which one can judge the state of the entire ecosystem. If it’s good for the tiger, then it’s good for everyone. That is why it is so important to preserve this beautiful big cat, which serves as an indicator of the natural well-being, the balance of this system depends on it.
In current conditions, tigers cannot survive without humans help.
WWF-Russia, in cooperation with other conservation organizations, put a lot of efforts in the Amur tiger conservation. This is serious and complex work of the public and the state. For example, over the past 20 years, a whole network of protected areas has been created, anti-poaching work has been strengthened, rehabilitation centers and mobile hospitals have been developed and supported, and a lot more. WWF-Russia conducts programs to restore ungulate numbers, monitors the preservation of Korean pine forests, as well as the number of tigers using camera traps.
Man and tiger are neither enemies nor friends. However, life shows that we need each other in order to maintain the balance and harmony between humans and nature.
Tiger conservation is a complex, comprehensive work. Raids and ambushes on poachers, caregiving to orphaned or distressed animals, study of diseases of large cats and causes of death, capture of conflictive animals, feeding of wild boars and deer to support tigers dietary. We present to you people who perform their noble work - conservation of the wild nature of Russia.
Director of PRNCO “Tiger Center”,
"Often, exhausted, dying tigers come to my rehabilitation center. And when I take care of them with my colleagues, and sometimes I pull them out of the dead, when they are recovering before our eyes, turning into strong and powerful animals, when they get used to the wild after rehabilitation, I am really happy. This is what I work for."
Nanaian shaman, professional hunter,
Krasniy Yar, Primorye province
«Tiger is my god. I have faith in him and he is helping me. My people need a living god. We are people of the tiger, without him we are lost, taiga is lost».
honorary adviser of WWF Russia, Ph.D of biology
«The tiger, better than any other animal, helps us to remember our debts to the planet. And by saving a large dangerous predator in the wild, we guarantee the preservation of the entire natural complexes on large areas of Earth!»
head coordinator of Biodiversity department of Amur WWF Russia
«It so happened that the tiger became the main character on the stage of my life. And for 30 years we have been secretly watching each other, without taking our eyes off. I like this performance, and I hope that the final curtain will not goes down for a long time».
Director of FSBI «Sikhote-Alinskiy state reserve»
«Why am I saving a tiger? I just can't do anything about it. For me, the Amur tiger is the personification of all wild nature - beautiful, powerful, but so vulnerable to human actions. And I consider it my duty to do everything in my power to save this amazing animal».
naturalist, game manager,
All-Russian Research Institute for Hunting Husbandry and Livestock Breeding, Khabarovsk
«To preserve the population of the Amur tiger means to preserve the best corners of the Far Eastern nature for the people of the future».
Ph.D, senior lecturer, head of a department of Custom affairs,
Vladivostok branch of Russian Customs Academy
«The Ussuri taiga is unthinkable without the Amur tiger, so our state pays special attention to its protection, the fight against poaching and smuggling of tiger derivatives. Thanks to this work, the number of the Amur tiger has grown and stabilized in recent years, but there is still much to be done to preserve this rare animal».
Chairman of the board of the Society of Hunters and Fishermen «Sidatun»,
«Over the past ten years, the number of tigers in our hunting establishment has grown from 4 to 15 individuals. By saving the tiger, I am paying back my debts to nature, which has fed me for many years and allowed me to survive in difficult times».
Ph.D of veterinary, senior lecturer,
Primorskaya State Academy of Agriculture,
Center for the Diagnosis of Animal Diseases
«Tigers, like people, get sick, suffer, and die for various reasons. I conduct diagnostics of sick and injured tigers, establish the causes of death. Ultimately, this helps rare cats to survive».
Hunting committee of the Ministry of Natural resources of the Khabarovsk province,
head of the task force on minimizing conflicts with large predators
«For me, the tiger is a symbol of courage, strength, perseverance, love of freedom and pride in our region. I see a special meaning in preserving this beast. This work is important for me both as for a resident of Far East and as a man».
Ph.D of biology, senior coordinator of Biodiversity department of Amur WWF Russia
«I protect the tiger, because it is a symbol, the soul of the Ussuri Taiga. And by preserving the tiger, we are preserving the taiga for him, for all animals, for our children and for the next generations».