On International Tiger Day: Go Forth and Prosper!

By Dale Miquelle | July 29, 2019

An adult Amur tiger in the Russian Far East. Photo credit: Ivan Seryodkin.
An Amur female tiger captured by a camera trap in Hunchun Reserve, 2013. Photo credit: Hunchun Reserve/WCS.

“I saw reason for hope, and that hope lay in the expansive forests that still covered this landscape. Yes extensive logging had occurred, yet the forests remained, not so different from the forests of nearby Russia where tigers roamed freely.”

Deer and boar populations slowly began to creep upwards. Increasing reports of tigers killing livestock were managerial nightmares requiring compensation to farmers, but were also an indicator that tigers were coming back.

Signs of hope: an Amur tigress with cubs in Hunchun Reserve, China, June 2018. Photo credit: Hunchun Reserve/WCS.

“Experience has shown that tiger conservation is not a 100-yard dash. It is an ultra-marathon, and victories come with perseverance, patience and unbridled, continuous energy.”

The tiger’s fate in China remains unclear. The huge protected area exists on paper, but major obstacles still prevent it from becoming fully functional. Forty villages lie within the boundaries of the park, which includes land from two provinces and multiple counties, with confusing jurisdictional issues and chains of command. Tiger numbers have increased slightly, but the majority of tigers only live part-time in China, returning often to Russia and the more bountiful prey there.

An adult male Amur tiger. Photo credit: Dale Miquelle/WCS.

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