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Death of Amur Tiger in Heilongjiang Province, China

03 november 2011
Chinese media have reported a death of Amur tiger in Mishan County, Heilongjiang Province. WWF Russia expresses concern about the accident.

According to the Chinese colleagues, a local farmer found the dead tiger and immediately informed local security services.

Mr. Sun Haiyi, a researcher at the Heilongjiang Wildlife Institute, as well as member of the WWF China Amur Tiger Conservation Expert Consultant Committee, led his team to Mishan to examine the dead tiger and determine the cause of death.

A tiger was found with a wire snare tightened around his neck.

The autopsy results confirmed the tiger as a male, approximately 5-6 years old, with a paw pad of 11.5cm.

Sun Haiyi judged that the male tiger of approximately 5-6 years old, with a paw pad of 11.5cm, was trapped by a snare, but having shaken off the connecting wire, could not free the neck from the poaching device. The snare killed the tiger chances for hunting and was regarded by the team as the reason of the animal’s death.

During the field research held by WWF in China in winter 2010-2011, 1,6 snares were disclosed per each 10 kilometers of the 609-long rout. This survey seriously proves the dramatic scale of poaching in China.

«Unfortunately, we were not surprised by the news; the tiger death was foreseeable, comments Sergei Aramilev, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF-Russia Amur branch. Working in Jilin, a neighboring Chinese province, we came across with such a big amount of snares that hoofed animals had no chances for survival. More likely, the snare was set for a wild boar as it is normally made of thicker wire rope than for a roe deer or red deer and is attached to larger trees. The adult male tiger caught in the snare could have come from Russia. I should remind that males can cover long distances in a search of new resident territories. I should also mention that today China lacks a well managed system of wildlife protection that could effectively prevent mass cruel ways of catching animals like using snares and poison”.

For tiger restoration in China the situation should be changed dramatically. If the number of hoofed animals is raised tigers from Russia will start inhabiting forests in China. Today, there are only two suitable crossings: an existing Leopardovyi Refuge and a planned Sredneussuriiskyi. Unfortunately, documents for Sredneussuriiskyi Refuge creation have been waiting to be approved by Primorskyi Province Administration for two years.