- Russian tigers to be relocated to northeastern China
- Russia, China launch joint project to protect tigers, leopards
- WWF builds first center to protect Amur tigers in China
- Russia, China to set up joint reserve to protect tigers
Russian ecologists will carry out a census of the Amur tiger population in the Primorye and the Khabarovsk territories, a World Wildlife Fund spokesman said on Friday.
"This year Amur tiger population monitoring is especially important, as before the global summit on tiger preservation that will bring heads of states to Vladivostok in September 2010, the research should confirm or refute data on the tigers' population obtained last year," the spokesman said, adding that the exact data will be revealed in March.
According to Russian representative of WWF biodiversity preservation Sergei Aramilev, if there is evidence that the tiger population is on the decline then additional monitoring will be carried out across their entire range.
Experts say poaching is the number one cause of declining populations in the region.
The last Amur tiger population census carried out in 2005 showed there were 428-502 adult individuals in the Primorye and the Khabarovsk territories, the only parts of Russia inhabit by the tigers. In 1995, there were 415-467 adult Amur tigers living in the area.
Monitoring of the tiger population in carried out annually in separate areas.
In June, the Russia and China agreed to start preparations to create a cross-border nature reserve to protect endangered Amur tigers and Far East leopards.
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are the largest subspecies of tigers, growing to over 3 meters in length and weighing up to 300 kilograms. They are on the World Conservation Union's critically endangered status list, and there are only about 500 of them left in the wild. Since 2006, poachers are known to have killed around 10 in Russia's Far East.
VLADIVOSTOK, December 18 (RIA Novosti)
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