Amur (Siberian) tiger
Siberian tiger, Amur tiger; Tigre de Sibérie (Fr); (Sp)
Panthera tigris altaica
IUCN: Endangered D ver 3.1 CITES: Appendix I
Around 450 individuals
180 to 300 kg
up to 300 cm
Back from the brink – but for how long?
Thanks to vigorous anti-poaching and other conservation efforts in Russia with support from many partners, including WWF, the Amur tiger population recovered and has remained stable at around 450 individuals throughout the last decade or so.
But poaching of tigers and their prey, increased logging, construction of roads, forest fires, and inadequate law enforcement continue to threaten the survival of this subspecies.
The subspecies is now restricted to the Sikhote-Alin range in the Primorski and Khabarovski provinces of the Russian Far East, and possibly to small pockets in the border areas of China and North Korea.
Boreal forests, also called taiga, are northern temperate forests dominated by coniferous trees such as spruce, fir, and pine. They are bordered to the north by the treeless tundra and to the south by steppes.
These are amongst the coldest areas in the world. The high latitude means long winters where the sun does not rise far above the horizon.
China, North Korea, Russia
Far eastern Asia
Russian Far East Temperate Forests
By the 1940s, hunting had driven the Amur tiger to the brink of extinction, with no more than 40 individuals remaining in the wild.
The subspecies was saved by Russia becoming the first country in the world to grant the tiger full protection – and also by the Cold War, which saw the tiger's forest home completely closed off to most people.
By the 1980s, the population had increased to around 500. Despite an increase in poaching following the collapse of the Soviet empire, continued conservation and antipoaching efforts by many partners, including WWF, have helped keep the population relatively stable at around 450 individuals.
WWF was one of the organizations to support the 2005 Winter Survey of Amur Tigers, which found between 334–417 adults and 97–112 cubs.
This population is the largest unfragmented tiger population in the world.
The most immediate threat to the survival of Amur (Siberian) tigers is poaching to supply demand for tiger parts for use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Cold War protected Amur tigers from hunting by closing off their forests to most people. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s saw a poaching epidemic, mainly driven by Russia’s economic crisis combined with a relaxation of border controls and a ready access to the wildlife and traditional medicine markets of East Asia.
Habitat loss & conflict with people
The most significant long-term threat to Amur tigers is habitat loss and a decrease in prey due to human population pressure.
Amur tigers are also killed as a result of conflict with people.
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