Project WWF “Northern Tiger”: to be continued
The National Park “Anuyisky” together with Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department, Khabarovsky Province Service for Wildlife and Protected Areas Management are partners of the project “Northern Tiger” run by WWF and “Nordens Ark” Zoo with the financial support of the Swedish Post Lottery in 2011. The project’s aim is to save the Amur tiger in Nanaisky County (near the northern range of the species), where its population numbers about 20 individuals.
In March, experts of WWF Russia, WWF Sweden and “Northern Ark” Zoo visited National Park “Anuyisky” and confirmed that measures taken over the past three years for Amur tiger protection have been effective. Population monitoring on the survey plot «Tiger Home», located in the National Park “Anuyisky” and contiguous territory, showed a stable increase in the number of rare cats.
“During the project, according to camera trap data from the survey plot “Tiger Home, the Amur tiger population has increased from 3 to 8 individuals, which is a great success!, - says Ola Jennersten, senior conservation advisor, WWF Sweden. - Of course, in Sweden parks are equipped much better, but even the best zoo in the world aviary will not replace natural habitats, so we must help save the tiger in their habitat - in the National Park “Anuyisky”. When it comes to wilderness, I don’t think any other country can compete with Russia - you have true nature, geographical vastness. “
With the support of WWF in the National Park a system for photomonitoring of Amur tiger was established to study the spatial distribution of tigers in the park and in the contiguous areas.
“In 2011 - the first year of the project “Northern Tiger”, we recorded 3 tigers on our territory, in the second year - 5 tigers, in the third year of the project - 8-10 tigers, and that it is very important that among them 4-5 females, - notes Aleksandr Samarin, head of Anyuisky National Park. - Here we created good conditions for increasing and maintaining the number of Amur tigers. At first this is good protection of the territory and the increasing the number of ungulates - prey of tigers. Thus, National Park is like a »island”, favorable to animal life. And the animals feel it, understand and come here”.
In 2011-2013, thanks to the project «Northern Tiger» and the support of WWF, the National Park built office building and a heated garage in Troitskoe village, bought 4 cars, a snowmobile, trailer, equipment for patrol and fire fighting, office equipment; and built ranger stations «Beahan» and «Con».
For the protection of tiger habitat in Nanaiskiy region two anti-poaching brigades were created in the framework of the project «Northern Tiger». Besides National Park “Anuyisky” WWF provided assistance for the Provincial Protected Areas Control Service of Khabarovsky Province.
“The results are encouraging. This can be seen from the fact that the number of tigers in the national park has increased, - comments Victor Nikiforov, head of pilot projects, WWF Russia. - This can be caused by a more intensive management of the park resulting in increased numbers of prey species and consequently also of an increasing number of carnivores. Illegal poaching is, however, still a serious threat to tigers as well as they prey species. We hope that it will be solved in during next three years. The project “Northern Tiger’ was extended for this period”.