Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Russia- wide tiger count begins

01.12.2004


Massive undertaking will involve hundreds of biologists, hunters and trackers combing wilderness of Russian Far East

A team of conservationists led by the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced the first range-wide count in nine years of Siberian (Amur) tigers, one of the world’s most threatened big cats. The survey will involve hundreds of biologists hunters and trackers combing a variety of landscapes to find out how many Siberian tigers still exist in the wild. Last surveyed in 1996, the population, then estimated at 415-476 individuals, has been under continuing pressures from poaching, logging and hunting.

Speaking at a press conference held in Vladivostok, Russia, Dale Miquelle, Director of the WCS Russia Program, and coordinator for the project, said, "This tiger survey represents a milestone in cooperative, international conservation efforts, with full political support from both regional and national governmental bodies of the Russian Federation, as well as financial and technical support from the international conservation community."



Tiger surveys in Russia are conducted in winter, when a complete blanket of snow allows fieldworkers to canvass the vast region of the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range, which holds 95 percent of the remaining Siberian tigers. Beginning in December, the survey team will search for tracks left by tigers as they traverse their home ranges looking for prey. A geographic database records the location and characteristics of each track reported, allowing specialists to estimate minimum numbers of tigers in the entire region.

The lone remaining population of Siberian tigers was under intensive poaching pressures during the early 1990s, when the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in political and economic chaos, forcing local residents to seek any means, including poaching of endangered species like tigers, to earn a living.

The results of the last survey, along with subsequent monitoring, initially indicated that the Siberian tiger population had stabilized due in part to stepped-up enforcement efforts. However, in the past five-to-seven years, some indicators suggest that tiger numbers may again be decreasing. Fewer numbers of prey, possibly due to overhunting, may be at least partially responsible for a decline in reproduction, and along with continued poaching of tigers, may be driving tiger numbers to critically low levels. Thus, an assessment of numbers of prey, such as deer and wild boar that tigers depend upon, is also built into the survey design. "Without information on the status of the prey base, we simply can’t say with any certainty what the status of the tiger population is, or what the future holds," said Alexei Surovy, lead specialist of the Provincial Wildlife Management Department.

Formerly, under the Soviet system, a complex and well-regulated army of biologists and professional "hunters" or outdoorsmen, were sent into the forests, under mandate, to do the count. In the new political and economic climate, such scientific endeavors are more difficult, and the costs of doing such work have escalated dramatically. "To develop effective strategies to conserve endangered species, it is essential to know how many there are out there," said Boris Tsoy, assistant Director of the Provincial Department of Natural Resources. "Such surveys, of course, are very expensive today, but thanks to the support of both the federal government and non-governmental organizations, we’ll be able to obtain this vital information in 2005."

In fact, for the first time in 10 years the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources has allocated funds for tiger conservation, with $50,000 specifically earmarked for the survey. However, this amounts to only about one-sixth of the $300,000 required to do the work. Fortunately, a host of international organizations have come forward to provide the remaining amounts, including the Exxon-Mobile Save the Tiger Fund, the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, 21st Century Tiger, Wildlife Conservation Society, and WWF.

Despite the costs, most believe the investment is worthwhile. As Pavel Fomenko, WWF staff and one of 15 survey coordinators noted, "We need this information to obtain a complete understanding of the present state of the Siberian tiger population – both to assess whether our past efforts were effective, and to plan for future tiger conservation measures."

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>