AboutZoos, Since 2008


Amur tiger num­bers on the rise, say lat­est figures

pub­lished 31 May 2015 | mod­i­fied 31 May 2015

Amurtiger cameratrap crght by ussuriisky nature reserveThe pop­u­la­tion of the Amur tiger in Rus­sia has increased to as many as 540 indi­vid­u­als over the last ten years, accord­ing to fig­ures released by the Russ­ian government.

I am pleased to see that the num­ber of Amur tigers in Rus­sia has increased in all the key areas where WWF has been work­ing for many years,” said Igor Chestin, Head of WWF-​Russia. “This suc­cess is due to the com­mit­ment of Russia’s polit­i­cal lead­er­ship and the tire­less ded­i­ca­tion of rangers and con­ser­va­tion­ists in very dif­fi­cult conditions.”

The key is strong polit­i­cal sup­port. Where we have it, in coun­tries like Rus­sia and India, we are see­ing tremen­dous results
Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF Tigers Alive Initiative »

Accord­ing to the interim cen­sus results, there are now between 480 and 540 Amur tigers across their exist­ing range, with around 100 of these known to be cubs. Russia’s Far East is home to 95 per cent of the global pop­u­la­tion of Amur tigers, and the last cen­sus in 2005 showed there were between 423 to 502 individuals.

Organ­ised by the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment with the sup­port of the Amur Tiger Cen­ter and WWF, the cur­rent cen­sus cov­ered over 150,000 square kilo­me­tres of the endan­gered animal’s habi­tats. About 2000 spe­cial­ists were involved in the field research, while the use of tech­nol­ogy such as GPS, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tors and cam­era traps aided the count.

Recent anti-​poaching efforts have been inte­gral to the rise in tiger num­bers, with tougher pun­ish­ments and the intro­duc­tion of crim­i­nal charges for the ille­gal hunt­ing, stor­age and traf­fick­ing of endan­gered ani­mals and their parts.

The key is strong polit­i­cal sup­port. Where we have it, in coun­tries like Rus­sia and India, we are see­ing tremen­dous results,” said Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF Tigers Alive Ini­tia­tive. “How­ever, in South East Asia, where polit­i­cal sup­port is weaker, we are fac­ing a cri­sis. These coun­tries stand to lose their tigers if urgent action isn’t taken immediately.”

WWF is urg­ing every tiger coun­try to con­duct a cen­sus as this is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of efforts to dou­ble global tiger num­bers by 2022, a goal known as Tx2.

Tx2: Dou­bling Wild Tigers by 2022:

(Source: WWF Tigers Alive on Vimeo)

Com­pre­hen­sive cen­suses are urgently needed across South East Asian tiger coun­tries. Experts from Malaysia sug­gested ear­lier this year that tiger num­bers there may have fallen to just 250340 — down from the pre­vi­ous esti­mate of 500. It is crit­i­cal that a sur­vey is car­ried out there as well as in Indone­sia, Thai­land, Myan­mar, Laos, Cam­bo­dia and Viet­nam. In Jan­u­ary, India released its lat­est tiger cen­sus results show­ing an increase to 2,226 from 1,706 in 2010. Cen­sus results are expected from Bangladesh and Bhutan later this year. China is plan­ning to count its tigers this sum­mer and zero poach­ing cham­pi­ons Nepal car­ried out its last cen­sus in 2013.

Poach­ing is the great­est threat to wild tigers today with tiger parts still in high demand through­out Asia. In the 1940s, the pop­u­la­tion of Amur tigers fell to just 40 ani­mals but the pop­u­la­tion was brought back from the brink through con­ser­va­tion efforts and a ban on tiger hunting.

The final results of the Amur tiger cen­sus in Rus­sia will be released in Octo­ber 2015.

(Source: WWF Global news release, 27.05.2015)

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Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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