Amur Tiger Conservation in Russia 2015 (Phoenix/Dreamworld)

Project name:  Amur Tiger Conservation in Russia 2015 (This project is implemented by the Phoenix Fund and is funded by Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation.)

© Phoenix Fund

Location: Primorskii krai (Sikhote-Alinskii Biosphere Nature Reserve, Lazovskii Nature Reserve, Zov Tigra National Park, Land of the Leopard National Park, and Ussuriiskii Nature Reserve), Russia.

Goal:  The aim of the project is to keep Amur tiger numbers stable, or increase numbers of tigers and reproduction of tigers in five protected areas of Primorskii krai.

Objective 1:  Improved patrolling techniques and effectiveness of anti-poaching efforts in five protected areas;
Objective 2:  Reduced poaching incidents;
Objective 3:  Positive trend in tiger and prey population (stable numbers).

Background: To recover Amur tiger and prey populations the project proposes strengthening anti-poaching efforts and tiger habitat protection in Primorye, Russian Far East. The Phoenix Fund will implement the project activities with focus on protection of one of the core tiger “source” areas – Zov Tigra National Park (ZTNP). Due to the declining trend in Amur tiger numbers in recent years, this protected area was chosen as a base for population recovery.

The Russian Far East is famous for its rich biodiversity thanks to its large network of protected areas. Primorskii and Khabarovskii krais, represent the only area in the world where the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) still exists in the wild. The species is listed Endangered by the IUCN and is on CITES Appendix I for protection status. Protected under the Russian and international laws and regulations, this population is still threatened by poaching, habitat destruction, prey depletion and conflicts with people.

According to a full-range survey -2005, the Amur tiger population recovered to between 428-502 individuals from a low point of possible as few as 30 animals in the 1940s. However, results of the Amur Tiger Monitoring Program by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Russian agencies provided in 2009 strong evidence that both tiger and prey numbers were once again on the decline in the Russian Far East. Trends in tiger track densities indicated a significant negative decline over all 13 years of the monitoring program.

Thankfully, according to the results of Amur tiger survey conducted in 2011-2012 winter season on 16 monitoring units in Primorskii and Khabarovskii krais, an upward tendency in Amur tiger population was recorded, and the rise has become stable and there is no return to critically low figures of 2008 and 2009.