WCS has an impressive track record
in Northeast Asia. Our achievements for wildlife research and
conservation in the region include:
In collaboration with the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, WCS leads theSiberian Tiger Project, the
longest running radio-telemetry-based tiger research and conservation
project in the world. Siberian Tiger Project staff captured and
radio-collared the first Siberian tigers ever, providing new tools for
studying tiger ecology, and acquiring new information necessary for
conservation of the sub-species. Improved understanding of Amur tigers
ecological requirements gained through the Siberian Tiger Project has
guided numerous constructive long-term conservation actions, including:
protected area planning and management; establishment of a legal basis
for corridors between protected areas; road closures to reduce mortality
of tigers and their prey; management of game populations outside
protected areas to benefit both humans and tigers; education and
outreach to improve local understanding of the role tigers play in the
ecosystem; bi-lateral discussions to establish transboundary reserves
which will connect tiger populations in the Russian Far East and
Howard Quigley with Olga, the first
tiger captured under the Siberian
Tiger Project, in 1992.
WCS has led the development of standardized methodologies for monitoringtigers and their prey.
Since the winter of 1997-1998, we have organized annual monitoring
throughout Russian tiger habitat, which serves as an early warning
system for declines in Amur tiger population numbers. In 1996 and 2005,
WCS led coordination of range-wide surveys of the Amur tiger population
in Russia, which have allowed us to estimate that 350-400 adult tigers
remain and that the population is stable.
WCS has worked side-by-side with Russian governmental agencies since 1999 to develop strategies for resolving tiger-human conflicts in a way that reduces human-caused tiger mortality and ensures the safety of local people living in tiger habitat.
WCS conducted surveys for tigers and leopards in Russia and NE China
and developed a plan for a network of transboundary protected areas and
management zones in the region, China created the Hunchun Tiger-Leopard Reserve in
the Jilin Province. This reserve provides about 100,000 ha of protected
habitat for tigers and leopards contiguous with protected habitat on
the Russian side of the border.
We have made a commitment to supporting the next generation of
Russian wildlife biologists and conservationists, by integrating
graduate students into our research programs, providing them the
guidance and support they need, and constructing the Sikhote-Alin
Research Center in Terney to provide both student housing and a research
facility that lives up to international standards.
that the conservation of the Amur tiger is only possible if tigers
continue to survive outside of protected areas, we are working with
privatized hunting leases with the goal of improving wildlife management on multiple-use lands, and demonstrating that coexistence of large carnivores and people is possible.
We piloted the use of camera-trap monitoring,
a survey technique that had never before been used in Russia, to make
estimates of Far Eastern leopard and Siberian tiger populations.
Together with local and international partners we are training wildlife health professionals who
will be capable of addressing issues of wildlife health and disease,
who will be skilled in wildlife immobilization, capture, and handling,
and who can become part of the conservation and management community
dedicated to wildlife conservation in the Russian Far East.
We have published, in Russian and English, and distributed dozens of scientific and popular articles and reports.