Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
Project Name: Addressing Human-tiger Conflicts in Hunchun County, China
Location: Hunchun County, Jilin Province, China
Goal: At present, human-tiger conflict events in northeast China are handled without coordination or established protocols, resulting in prolonged events that endanger both tigers and villagers, and which build resentment toward tigers among local residents. The conservation outcome of this project is more tigers remaining in the wild, and an improved attitude among local villagers toward tigers, all as a result of efficient and professional responses to human-tiger conflicts.
Objective 1: Hold a human-tiger conflict resolution workshop
Objective 2: Hold a technical training session
Background: During a tiger conservation conference held in Hunchun, China in August 2016, WCS staff from Russia gave a presentation on human-tiger conflict that summarized findings and lessons learned from 16 years of experience. Following this conference, staff from Hunchun Nature Reserve approached WCS asking for support in the creation and training of their own response team to operate throughout Hunchun County. This is an important development, as it shows true interest from the local government in big cat conservation and meeting the needs of both local residents and of tigers.
As Amur tigers (and Amur leopards) continue to expand into China from source populations in Russia, the number of human-tiger conflict events in northeast China have increased in tandem. It is critical that a Hunchun response team be created as soon as possible, and trained regularly, so that these conflict events can be responded to quickly and resolutely to minimize risks to human lives and livelihoods and to minimize risks to the big cats themselves.