Enormous Wetland Ecosystem Network
Rivers and lakes in the Amur-Heilong River Basin provide habitats for about 130 freshwater fish species, including seven species of migratory salmon and Kaluga – the largest sturgeon in the world that can weigh up to 1000 kilograms. At present, no dams block the river’s main channel, which runs nearly 4,500 kilometres from Mongolia into the Tartar Strait of the Okhotsk Sea. The river floods its banks between 4 and 6 times during the summer, mostly during the monsoon season in July and August, when it swells to 10-25 kilometres in width in years of heavy rainfall. Wetlands on the plains of the Amur-Heilong River are globally significant for migration of tens of thousands of geese and hundreds of thousands of ducks and waders. Endangered species such as Far Eastern curlew (Numenius madagascarensis), Scaly-sided merganser (Mergus scquamatus), Swan goose (Anser cygnoides), Baikal teal (Anas formosa) and many others depend on these stop-over areas. Each spring and autumn, birds stop here to feed and rest along the East Asian migration routes between nesting areas in the north and wintering grounds in the Yangtze River valley in China and on the Korean Peninsula and the islands of Japan.
As much as 95 percent of the world’s nesting population of Oriental white storks (Ciconia boyciana), is found in the Amur-Heilong floodplains, along with 65 percent of the Red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis), and 90 percent of the White-naped crane (Grus vipio) populations. This is the only place in the world where one can simultaneously observe 6 species of cranes on the same patch of wetland.
The Amur-Heilong contains some of the best preserved temperate forest ecosystems and still harbours about 500 Amur tigers and the last remaining viable wild population of Far Eastern leopard, estimated at less than 40 individuals. This mixed temperate forest ecosystem depends on the Korean Pine -“tree of life” producing food (pine nuts) and shelter: where there is Korean pine one also finds wild boar, which is the tiger's primary prey. Ginseng grows only under the canopy of Korean pine stands. The value of a living tree is ten times higher than its timber. Here Brown bears coexist with Asiatic black bears, Far Eastern leopard cross paths with lynx (Felix lynx). Korean pine-broadleaved forests are very often the only source of income for residents of remote villages.
The western part of Amur Heilong -Dauria - is the best-preserved example of Eurasian grassland and this region continues to support huge populations of larger migratory vertebrates - Mongolian Gazelle (Procapra gutturosa). Wetland-grassland landscapes withstand periodic droughts common in this climate. Cyclical climate fluctuation causes greater biodiversity and triggers migrations of many animal species. The area is also an important breeding and stopover site for millions of birds on several Asian flyways. Dauria is the only part of the Amur River Basin where indigenous peoples can continue their nomadic lifestyle.
Photos document success of prey recovery program for endangered Amur tigers
A group of captive-bred red deer that were released into a nature reserve in Northeast China’s ...
Tiger killer given strong punishment
A Russian man convicted of killing an endangered Amur tiger has been sentenced to 14 months ...
Russia and Germany: cooperation on climate stabilization and conservation of Korean pine forests within the range of the Amur tiger
Russia and Germany: cooperation on climate stabilization and conservation of Korean pine forests ...
WWF-Russia Amur branch director receives an honorable award
IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas honored Yury Darman, head of WWF-Russia Amur branch, with ...
Prey for China’s endangered wild Amur tigers released on Global Tiger Day
A new recovery project in Northeast China is helping repopulate an important tiger habitat with ...
Global Tiger Day - spare a thought for tiger prey too!
As tiger range countries today celebrate Global Tiger Day, WWF is urging the governments to raise ...
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Wild tigers remain vulnerable to poaching in most protected areas
A recent preliminary assessment of 63 legally protected areas in seven tiger range countries shows ...
Population of world's most endangered leopard grows in China
Northeast China’s Jilin Province Department of Forestry says the endangered Amur leopard ...
Tiger Summit anniversary elicits WWF call for elevated action to end poaching
One year after the landmark international meeting aimed at saving the tiger from extinction, more ...