Conservationists follow six-weeks old wild tigers for first time
Scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and their Russian colleagues from the Sikhote-Alin Reserve have fitted three wild Siberian tiger cubs under six weeks old with tiny radio-collars, marking the youngest wild tigers to be tracked by scientists. The collars-made with an elastic designed to expand and eventually break and fall off of the growing cubs-weigh just over five ounces and would fit well on a large house cat. These devices will give researchers crucial insights into the lives of tiger cubs in the Russian Far East and ways of improving the survival and reproduction of the largest of the cat species.
"Through radio telemetry, we’ve learned a great deal about the needs of Siberian tigers, animals so elusive that few field researchers have seen them in their natural habitat," said John Goodrich, a WCS researcher and the head of the Siberian Tiger Project. "Now we can finally get some idea of what causes the deaths of tiger cubs, which suffer a mortality rate of nearly 50 percent in their first year; if we can somehow improve their chances, we can make a big difference in helping the population to grow."
John Delaney | EurekAlert!
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