The population of the Amur tiger in Russia has increased to as many as 540 individuals over the last ten years, according to figures released by the Russian government.
“I am pleased to see that the number of Amur tigers in Russia has increased in all the key areas where WWF has been working for many years,” said Igor Chestin, Head of WWF-Russia. “This success is due to the commitment of Russia’s political leadership and the tireless dedication of rangers and conservationists in very difficult conditions.”
According to the interim census results, there are now between 480 and 540 Amur tigers across their existing range, with around 100 of these known to be cubs.
Russia’s Far East is home to 95 per cent of the global population of Amur tigers, and the last census in 2005 showed there were between 423 to 502 individuals.
Organized by the Russian government with the support of the Amur Tiger Center and WWF, the current census covered over 150,000 square kilometers of the endangered animal’s habitats. About 2000 specialists were involved in the field research, while the use of technology such as GPS, satellite navigators and camera traps aided the count.
Recent anti-poaching efforts have been integral to the rise in tiger numbers, with tougher punishments and the introduction of criminal charges for the illegal hunting, storage and trafficking of endangered animals and their parts.