Siberian tiger project 2005 - 09
The Amur or Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) remains severely threatened, although numbers were stable for several years, surveys in 2009 suggest that numbers may be once more be in decline.
As a classic landscape species inhabiting a variety of human-influenced terrains, tigers compete with man for critical habitat and resources. Their populations remain perilously low and, in the Russian Far East, international efforts to save them from extinction have been conducted for more than 15 years.
The WCS Siberian Tiger Project (STP) began in 1992 when the Siberian tiger’s ecology and status were little known outside the Soviet Union, although it was clear that populations were extremely low. STP objectives were straightforward: apply good science to Siberian tiger conservation to supply the best possible information on the ecology and dynamics of the species, creating the necessary database for conservation planning to allow Siberian tigers to recover.
The project now focuses on scientific research and intensive training and capacity building. These highly integrated programs are described below.
Although WCS has generated the largest database on wild tigers anywhere in the world, vital pieces of information are still missing. Efforts will continue to increase scientific understanding of the Siberian tiger and to create a comprehensive tiger conservation plan. Objectives for the coming year include capturing four new tigers and fitting at least of the two tigers with GPS collars, estimating home ranges for all animals, identifying all litters born, mapping transboundary movements, and recording all deaths.
- Collect the best scientifically-based data for use in conservation plans.
- Continue biomedical evaluations of tigers to identify inbreeding and disease related problems.
- Continue capture and radio-tracking activities
Training and Capacity Building.
Training the next generation of Russian conservation biologists has become a priority as there are too few young biologists in the Russian Far East, and most practicing biologists are near or beyond retirement age.
The aims are:
- Continue training current students; bring on at least two new students
- Continue training Russian project coordinators in fundraising, project administration, and management.
More information on the work of WCS Russia can be found on their website.
Results from the previous years can be seen in the reports below.