Close-up of Amur tiger thrills researchers

A blurry photo was the cause of celebration in China in early November.

It was the first Amur tiger—a critically endangered sub-species of the big cat—captured on camera traps in the Wandashan Mountains. The area is considered one of the key places for the endangered Amur tiger population to resettle and breed in northeast China.

Destruction and fragmentation of habitat, poaching and lack of prey are the biggest threats to Amur tigers. WWF is working to increase the wild tiger population by establishing a contiguous habitat that is well-managed and protected. The camera traps were set up by WWF with support from the Dongfanghong Forestry Bureau.

There are an estimated 360 tigers in the Amur-Heilong landscape that straddles the border between northeastern China and the Russian Far East. The majority of Amur tigers are found in Russia, but there is great potential for the population to expand into China. Tigers have periodically been spotted within the borders of China’s Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

“This recent image of the Amur tiger is a good indication that our conservation efforts are on the right track,” said Dr Barney Long, WWF’s Tiger Program Manager. “WWF remains committed to working with the tiger range countries to meet the goal set at the tiger summit last year –doubling the number of wild tigers by the next year of the tiger in 2022.”

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