Straddling the border between northeastern China and the Russian Far East, the Amur-Heilong region contains one the most biologically diverse temperate forests in the world, and is a key habitat for the critically endangered Amur leopard and tiger. WWF is working to ensure that these species and many others are protected in this vast yet fragile environment.
The Amur River is one of the longest rivers in Asia, flowing thousands of kilometres from the steppes of Mongolia through the untamed wilderness of China and Russia and ending at the Strait of Tartary where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.
With fewer than 35 left in the wild, the reclusive Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), also known as the Far East leopard, is considered one of the world’s most endangered big cats. Found mostly in the forests of Russia’s southwestern Primorskii Province, WWF is working to bring this species back from the brink of extinction.
The Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian tiger, is another cat species under threat. Although their numbers have increased from about 40 to 500 – thanks to vigorous conservation efforts – poaching and increased logging continue to affect their chances of survival.
Habitat loss, logging, pollution and trade in other endangered wildlife all threaten the health of the entire Amur-Heilong area.
WWF is working with partners in Russia, China and Mongolia to achieve lasting conservation throughout the region. This includes programmes to reduce poaching, curb unsustainable and illegal logging, and protect key species through the creation of protected areas.
Major successes include:
Partnering with the government of Mongolia to establish the Onon-Balj National Park at the headwaters of the Amur- Heilong