New Year’s greetings from the Amur tigress
Yurii Darman, head of WWF-Russia Amur branch, and Andrei Kotlyar, head of Ussuriiskii Nature Reserve, monitor the life of the Amur tigress that was attached with satellite transmitter in the frame of a program initiated by Head of Russian Government Vladimir Putin.
It is hard to make research of Amur tiger. Vladimir Putin entrusted Russian Academy of Science with such a task.
So, in August 2008, the program was launched under the leadership of Vyacheslav Rozhnov, professor, deputy director of A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution.
Ussuriiskii Nature Reserve being a subdivision of Russian Academy of Science, Far Eastern branch, was not chosen on occasion. It is known as “cradle” for tigers, core population in the south Primorye: 5-10 tigers inhabit only 40 000 hectares.
The tigress with satellite collar was nicknamed as Ser`ga (meaning earring). Now its fate is in constant focus, all its movements are being highlighted on the Head of Government’s website (http://premier.gov.ru/tiger).
In November, by means of camera traps it became clear that the tigress had three cubs. But details of the tiger’s family life is not seen from the space; one could monitor it only if following tiger’s trail and “reading’ its prints in the snow.
Andrei Kotlyar and Yurii Darman covered 80 kilometers tracing the animals and tessellating activities of Ser`ga and its cubs. Lots of new scientific data was received, samples for genetic research collected. Today Ser`ga and its kids are safe and sound.
“We hope that Vladimir Putin, while summing up the results of the departing year, has recalled the brightest episode of August 2008 – the moment when he patted and even kissed the beauty-tigress, - says Yurii Darman. – The fate has granted us with a new year present. On the 4th of January we were lucky to see a tiger, though from a car on 70 meters distance.”
Happy New Year to you, Tigress! Long life and good luck!