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The Way of the Tiger: a WWF report on human-tiger conflicts in the Russian Far East

16 april 2018
"The Way of the Tiger: a WWF report on human-tiger conflicts in the Russian Far East" has been released. The report gives the first, comprehensive account of the situation of the Amur tiger; the conservation measures and results, as well as the countermeasures to resolve Human-Tiger Conflicts (HTCs).

Thanks to the efforts of the Russian government the Amur tiger population has risen from around 20-30 in the 1930s to 540 in 2015. Nature conservation public organizations have also contributed greatly in this success. For a quarter of a century tiger conservation work is being is carried out in the Russian Far East by governmental structures with the support of WWF Russia, and recently with the help of the Amur Tiger Center, PRNCO “Tiger Center” and other public organizations. This success has a flipside, however, as the increased tiger population has resulted in more frequent Human-Tiger Conflicts.

According to the report, 279 HTCs were reported in the period between 2000 and 2016. Conflict situations resulted in the deaths of 33 tigers in roughly the same period. And since 2005 to 2010 the number of HTCs between people and tigers has doubled. 
The Way of the Tiger: a WWF report on human-tiger conflicts in the Russian Far-East
“Given the growing tiger population and human activities in the region, this number is more than likely to rise even further in the near future,” warns Pavel Fomenko, head of the rare species conservation unit of WWF Russia Amur branch. Therefore resolving HTCs is a top priority for WWF.
Pavel Fomenko, WWF Russia, together with the rapid response team of Primorsky province during the operation on capturing the conflict tiger near Aleksey-Nikolskoye village
Yulia Fomenko / WWF Russia

In order to resolve conflict situations in 2012 by WWF initiative the Wildlife Departments of Primorsky and Khabarovsky provinces organized specialized rapid response teams to mitigate the conflicts. At present these mobile teams are well equipped and work successfully improving their skills with the support of WWF and the Amur Tiger Center. Moreover, two rehabilitation centers for tigers and other wild animals have been set up in the Russian Far East: Utyos in Khabarovsky Province in 1991 and Alekseevka in Primorsky Province in 2012. 

Rapid response team of the Wildlife Department of Primorsky province
Yulia Fomenko / WWF Russia
«I am proud to say that in addition to the rehabilitation centres, Russia was the first country to create government-sponsored Rapid Response Teams to resolve Human-Tiger Conflicts.” — comments Pavel Fomenko.
The release of Filippa into the wild in 2017
Oleg Kabalik / WWF Russia
Alexey Kostyria, senior coordinator of the rare species conservation unit of WWF Russia Amur branch, sums up: «We recommend that rapid response teams explore additional techniques and technologies and put them into practice. In addition, they should collect data to evaluate their effectiveness.”
Vet’s examination before a long journey
WWF Russia

Thanks to the work of rapid response teams, rehabilitation centers and public organizations, the conflict tigers have a chance to survive and come back home to the wild taiga.

The release of Uporny into the wild
WWF Russia

Between 2000-2017, 24 animals were placed in rehabilitation centers. Thirteen of them were released into the wild after rehabilitation (nine tiger cubs and four young adults) between 2009-2017. Ten of them were tagged with GPS collars to monitor their movements to prevent them becoming involved in HTCs again. This spring two tiger cubs rescued in winter 2016-2017 in Lazovsky and Pozharsky districts pf Primorsky province will be released into the wild.

Tiger cubs are ready to be released into the wild
PRNCO "Tiger Center"

Amur tiger conservation projects in the Russian Far East are implemented by WWF in close cooperation with the Administration of Primorsky, Khabarovsky and Evreiskaya provinces and the Amur Tiger Center.

For additional information please contact
Senior Project coordinator