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ABOUT THE RANGERS
Tiger rangers of northeast China
Patrolling during the harsh icy winter that northeast China is known for, the rangers’ face and hands would be frozen from the bitter cold. “We can’t even take off our shoes when we reach home,” said Ranger Zhangzheng Sun.
Though the work is arduous and dangerous – the rangers risk coming into contact with both wild animals and gun-carrying poachers – the rangers remain committed to protecting the Amur tiger and other wildlife species found in the forests under their care.
About the Amur-Heilong tiger landscapeStraddling the border between northeastern China and the Russian Far East, the Amur-Heilong tiger landscape comprises forests of Korean Pine and Mongolian oak. These forests provide an important habitat for the Amur tiger and its prey as well as livelihood for the local economy. Illegal logging and poaching poses a major threat to the tigers.
Over the past fifty years, the population of wild Amur tigers in northeast China has declined from an estimated 200 to 20 today, due to massive pressure from deforestation, unplanned development, and poaching. The Amur tiger population in Russia Far East is estimated at 450. Recent sightings show that the population is slowly moving across the border into China’s Wandashan and Changbaishan mountains, part of the Wangqing Nature Reserve.
WWF is working to increase wild tiger numbers by establishing a contiguous, well-protected, well-managed habitat, including cross-border protected areas. Additionally, in northeast China, WWF and partners are conducting joint activities including helping populations of the tiger’s main prey such as wild boar and roe deer to recover, and carrying out anti-poaching measures.
In early 2012, 6 youths spent 10 days with experts and rangers in NE China to find out what’s it like to protect tigers in the wild. This is their story.