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Sweden helps to preserve Russia's northernmost tigers

14 october 2015
The experts from WWF Sweden and “Nordens Ark” Zoo spent two weeks in the Russian Far East to see the progress of the “Northern Tiger” Project.

The joint project of WWF Sweden and “Nordens Ark” Zoo is being carried out in Nanaisky District, Khabarovsky Province, for four years focusing on preservation the world's northernmost tiger group. Since 2011, it was implemented with the support of the Swedish Post Lottery in partnership with the Anyuisky National Park, Khabarovsky Province Hunting Department and the Service for Wildlife and Protected Areas Management. Annual monitoring of the predator on the “Tiger Home” survey plot located in Anyuisky National Park and adjacent territories, shows a steady increase in the number of rare cats.

«We should always keep in mind that in the northern edge of the tiger home range the conditions for its survival are extremely difficult. The main result of our joint work is that we have managed to join the efforts of the government and public organizations to save this unique habitat from degradation and to prevent the decrease of wildlife species on the right bank of the Amur River, 'notes Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at WWF Russia Amur Branch.

This year during the full range Amur tiger survey 12 adult tigers and 6 cubs have been registered in Anyuisky National Park. 10 adult tigers were portrayed by camera traps. And in May, the tiger Uporny (Stubborn) released near the National Park.

WWF put a lot of efforts in establishing of this protected area, the largest of created ones in tiger range over the past few years. With WWF support several rangers stations were constructed, the headquarters were renovated, off-roaders, snowmobiles, office equipment and communication devices were purchased. The guests got acquainted with the work of rangers, tourist infrastructure, visited the cordon and visitor center opened with the support of the “Northern Tiger” Project. They traveled up the Anyui River to the spawning sites of chum salmon, grayling, Siberian trout, watched the Steller's sea eagle fishing, and red deer feeding on the forage fields. Each day brought new discoveries such as new tracks of the Amur tiger, brown and Himalayan bears.

“The result in Anyuisky Park with a doubling of tigers is indeed both impressive and encouraging. The staff of the park and the Hunting inspection has done very good work to increase anti-poaching activities and winter feeding of herbivores”, comments Ola Jennersten, senior conservation advisor, WWF Sweden.

“We realize that the economic situation is worrying and that we probably will face some difficult years because of economic situation but also natural difficulties like lack of seed production and tough winter with heavy snowing. We believe it is important for our project to continue our support to keep high levels of tigers and prey species, notes Emma Nygren, coordinator of biodiversity conservation projects at “Norderns Ark”.

At the media briefing in Khabarovsk, the experts from Sweden shared their impressions from the expedition to the national park and handed over the honorary diplomas to Alexandr Samarin, the head of Anyuisky National Park, and Yury Kolpak, the head of the Service of Wildlife and Protected Areas Management of Khabarovsky Province. The project for the protection of the northern tiger will be continued until July 2017.

Amur tiger near Bikhan check post. Cameratrap shot of 2015 in Anyuisky National Park
© Anyuisky National Park
This year during the full range Amur tiger survey 12 adult tigers and 6 cubs have been registered in Anyuisky National Park
© Anyuisky National Park
Expedition to the upper reaches of the Anyu River
© Viktor Nikiforov / WWF Russia
Explore the national park territory
© Olga Sass / WWF Russia
Check post in Anyuisky National Park
© Olga Sass / WWF Russia
Alexandr Samarin, the head of Anyuisky National Park
© Olga Sass / WWF Russia
Lena Linden, Nordens Ark, handing over the diplomas to Alexandr Samarin and Yury Kolpak
© Viktor Nikiforov / WWF Russia
Expedition of WWF Sweden and Norderns Ark experts to Anuyisky National Park
© Anyuisky National Park
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