In Northeast Primorye Province, Russia, less than 50 Siberian tigers cling to survival roaming across both protected areas and multiple-use lands. Conservation measures in such a complicated landscape must address conditions that vary across the region, ranging from strict law enforcement to environmental education programs to training for young conservationists. We seek to secure a future for tigers in this vast, still wild region of the Russian Far East.
About 500 Siberian or Amur tigers are left in the wild, with 95% of them in the Russian Far East. Russia almost lost its tigers in the 1940s, but the population recovered with strict protection, only to drop again with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Condtions are more stable now, but poaching of tigers is still an ever-present threat: e.g.,in 2015 at least eight Amur tigers were illegally killed, and the common appearance of cubs without mothers indicates that the poaching epidemic continues.
We are improving protection in reserves using the SMART law enforcement monitoring system, and providing incentives for rangers to improve their efforts. Education programs, like Tiger Day Festivals in small forest communities, teach children and adults of the value of tigers and forests. Camera trap monitoring of tigers provides accurate estimates of tiger numbers and allows tracking of individual tigers over time. Training young professionals ensures this work will continue into the future.
In the coming year at least 40 anti-poaching patrols will be conducted, with ranger teams spending at least 24 days/month on patrol. More than 30 young professionals will be trained, and Tiger Days will be organized in at least 7 forest communities. With concerted efforts we will reverse current population trends, reduce poaching with strong law enforcement, and change the attitudes of local people towards tigers. Training the next generation of professionals will ensure this work will continue.