Amur tiger

The Amur tiger - one of the most rare representatives of world fauna. As the object of the first category of threat of disappearance, it is brought in Red Lists of the International Union of conservation and Russia, and also, included in the Appendix II of the Convention on international trade in the types of wild fauna and flora which are under the threat of disappearance (SITES). In the south of the Far East Russia where there passes the northern border of an area of a look, this tiger lives in the territory of Primorye and Priamurye. Now only on Sikhote-Alin the only viable population of the Amur tiger in the world remained.

From five nowadays existing tiger subspecies, Amur by the sizes is, perhaps, the largest. Winter fur at it, unlike other forms, very dense and long and, relatively, light coloring. The Amur tiger - the inhabitant of the mountainous areas covered with the broad-leaved and cedar and broad-leaved woods. A habitat of the majority of groups of tigers are located in pools of an average and the lower current of the mountain rivers at the heights of 400-700 m н.у.м. Calling of separate individuals of tigers mountain sites are made seldom and only during the snowless or low-snow periods.

Environment of places of dwellings of a tiger on Sikhote-Alin is exclusively severe. In the winter air temperature during the separate periods falls to -40 °C, and rises to +35-37 °C in the summer. On the most part height of snow cover in the second half of winter is usual within 30-60 cm. Extent of adaptation of a predator to difficult ecological conditions, characteristic for a northern limit of distribution of a look, is rather high. Low winter temperatures don't influence activity of a tiger. He suits temporary lyozhka directly on snow and can be on them till some hours. For long rest they prefer shelters – rocky ledges and niches, emptiness under the fallen trees. At a large amount of snow, moving on a site, tigers willingly use tracks of boars, forest roads, tracks of hunters, traces of snowmobiles.

Routes of movements of tigers on a site are rather constant and are supported by them (Yudakov, Nikolaev, 1973 from year to year; Matyushkin, 1977). As a rule, the adult tiger or a family of predators make transitions on the old tracks which regularly are updated by them. The sizes of sites of dwelling aren't identical and depend on a sex of an animal, age, existence and the sizes of tiger cubs, and also on population density of hoofed animals - the main victims of a tiger. The females accompanied with tiger cubs aged about one year have the smallest site (10-30 The area of sites of dwelling of adult territorial tigers males –600-800, females – 300-500

Tigers lead a single life. The exception is made by the females accompanied with a brood of tiger cubs, or the rutting period. Individual sites of adult same-sex individuals aren't blocked or can partially be blocked (at males). Polygamy for the Amur tiger (Matyushkin, 1977 is typical; Zhivotchenko, 1981 and). On a site of dwelling of an adult male individual sites of several females can settle down. Whether daily movements of tigers are various and depend on that the animal makes transition on a dwelling site, successfully or unsuccessfully hunts, looks for production or eats it. The average daily course of an adult tiger male makes 9,6 km, maximum – 41 km. For tigresses average movement in days - 7 km, maximum - 22 km (Yudakov, Nikolaev, 1987).

The basis of food is made by a boar and a Manchurian deer (Kaplanov, 1948; Yudakov, 1973), and in the southwest Areas of Primorye and the Lazovsky reserve - a spotty deer (Zhivotchenko, 1981). A quantitative ratio of the victims of a tiger for various parts of an area not identical. On the western macroslopes of an average of Sikhote-Alin, respectively, about 60 and 30% of a share of a boar and Manchurian deer (Yudakov, Nikolaev, 1987 are the share; Pikunov, 1988), on east (Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve) these indicators more than three times lower on a boar and is nearly 2,5 times higher on a Manchurian deer (Matyushkin, 1992). On east macroslopes of the southern Sikhote-Alin (the Lazovsky reserve) the share of a boar and Manchurian deer is equivalent – about 30%, the spotty deer among the victims of a tiger makes 18,2% (Zhivotchenko, 1981).

Estrus and emergence of the young aren't dated for any certain season. However, pairing happens most often in the second half of winter, and emergence of posterity mainly falls on April-June. The period of pregnancy lasts 95-107 days, on average - 103 days (Geptner, Sludsky, 1972). In a dung there are 1-4 tiger cubs, is more often 2-3. The average size of a brood fluctuates from 1,5 to 2,4 tiger cubs (Kucherenko, 1972; Smirnov, 1986). The majority of females for the first time bring posterity at 3-4 summer age (Seifert, Muller, 1978). Tiger cubs separate from mother on the second year of life. Respectively, broods at tigresses can appear with an interval in two years, and in case of death of tiger cubs – in a year of their loss. Mortality young very high – about 50% (Smirnov, 1986). Cases of death of tigers from bears and the facts of a cannibalism are quite rare, wellbeing of a look significantly don't influence (Kostoglod, 1977; Nikolaev, Yudin, 1993).

At the end of the XIX century the area of continuous dwelling of the Amur tiger stretched to a left bank of Amur. The northern border of an area was stretched from the western foothills of Small Hingan to the mouth of river Gorin under 51 NL. Further, falling to the South and bending around axial part northern, partly Central Sikhote-Alin, the border left to the sea on 46 30’ - 47 NL. In the subsequent, the area of a tiger started being reduced considerably, mainly in the north, and by 1940 its border was displaced to the basin of the river Iman (Geptner, Sludsky, 1972). In the same years lesolugovy spaces of Khanka Lowland, the neighborhood of the large cities dropped out of an area (Baykov, 1925). Since the beginning of the 50th years as a result of the taken protection measures the area of dwelling of a tiger started extending considerably.

Now tigers occupy almost all lesopokryty part of habitats, suitable for them, Seaside and the southern part Khabarovsk edges (Matyushkin, etc., 1997). On the western macroslope of mountain System Sikhote-Alin, the northern border of its area stretches approximately to 50 NL, on east - 48 30’.

About the number of tigers in the south of the Far East of Russia in the past, it is possible to judge only according to indirect data. So at a turn of the XIX-XX centuries here annually got 120-150 tigers (Silantyev, 1898). The intensive destruction of these predators which was followed by reduction of their habitats under the influence of economic activity of the person led to that at the beginning of the current century the number of tigers started falling sharply. By the end of the 30th years the Amur tiger appeared on the verge of disappearance - remained to no more 50-tiosoby. The situation started changing for the better only after the taken protection measures – a ban of hunting for tigers (1947) and their catching (1956-60) with the subsequent its restriction.

The maximum density of population of these animals by results of the last accounts was noted in Sikhote-Alinsky, Lazovsky reserves and territories adjoining to them (to 5-7 individuals on 1000, and also on the western macroslopes of an average of Sikhote-Alin, i.e. in the areas which are least affected by economic activity of the person. With the minimum number tigers occupy northern Sikhote-Alin, where the most difficult living conditions, characteristic for a northern limit of an area of a look, and also the southern developed and densely occupied regions of Primorsky Krai (1-2 os./1000

The major limiting factor is the poaching which gained in recent years commercial character. Tigerish production finds sale in the majority of the countries of East Asia as valuable medicinal raw materials. Another on the importance a negative factor is the increased imbalance of number of a predator and its main victims.

In Russia the tiger was taken under protection in 1947 when the total ban of hunting for it was imposed. In recent years in protection of this animal the increasing value gets the international cooperation which is expressed not only in financial, material and technical support of various nature protection organizations, but also in carrying out collaborations. Now researches within the Russian-American project "Amur Tiger" with application of radio of tracking are conducted. Contacts are come and works on a tiger and a leopard in the countries, adjacent with Russia, - People's Republic of China and Democratic People's Republic of Korea are begun. "Strategy of preservation of a tiger in Russia" in which the main directions of activities for preservation of natural population of one of the most beautiful subspecies of this cat – the Amur tiger are defined is prepared and accepted to action.

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