A large male tiger with pawprints 11 cm wide was tracked by wildlife specialists of the Hunting Management Department of Khabarovsky Province and border guards practically from the Khekhtsyr Range in Khabarovsky Province to the so-called Strelnikovsky ecological corridor and bordering “Sredneussuriisky” Wildlife Refuge. The tiger followed a herd of wild boar which was concentrated in the nearly untouched broadleaf forests on the right bank of the Ussuri River (or Wusuli, in Chinese). Slowly moving to the south, the striped predator arrived at the bank of the Ussuri River near border monument #196 and crossed over from Russia to China.
This once again confirms the significance for the protection of the Amur tiger of the newly established wildlife refuge, created in Primorye in October 2012. Since 2009 WWF Russia took an active part in organization of this protected area. The first contributions from WWF to “Sredneussuriisky” Refuge (a jeep and snowmobile) were presented to the Administration of Protected Areas of Primorsky Province for the patrolling of the territory and organizing supplementary feeding activities. The appearance of the tiger can be considered a sign of gratitude from the striped cats for taking care of their home in Russia and China.
“The Strelnikovsky corridor in Khabarovsky Province and “Sredneussuriisky” Wildlife Refuge in Primorye together form the only ecological corridor connecting the mountain system of Sikhote-Alin (Russia) and Wandashan (China). Only in this area do mountains surround the Ussuri River valley from both sides, creating a forest bridge between the countries, - says Yury Darman, head of WWF Russia Amur branch. – That is why WWF insisted on preservation of the last tract of Korean pine-broadleaved forests bordering China. In recent years from 4 to 5 tigers were recorded on the Wandashan Mountain Range, including one breeding female. Moreover, in November 2011 a tiger was captured by an automatic camera in Dongfanghong forest management unit, on the territory of which a new tiger reserve is planned as part of a Sino-Russian joint protected area. Without the addition of tigers from Russia the Chinese subpopulation is doomed to extinction”.