Amur tiger footprints lead North

  • 20.11.2015
  • News
Amur tiger footprints lead North

Employees of the Komsomolsky Nature reserve proved that an Amur tiger female visited the territory of the Oldzhikansky preserve. They found traces of a rare animal, thus confirming early reports of the appearance of a striped predator in this northern territory. According to experts of the Amur Tiger Center, the upcoming winter will show how long the tiger settled in the area.

The news that a hunter-hunter on the territory of the Oldzhikansky preserve on November 7 found traces of the beast that he had never seen here before, spread around many media. The reserve is located in the north-west of the Khabarovsk Krai - in the area named after Polina Osipenko.  The hunter suggested that the tracks belong to the female Amur tiger.

"Traces coming from the rivers Dasmi, Olgan, Uyr, old Amorevoli the road. Sometimes the beast went out, then came back. At one point, the beast found standing on putice trap, which are two or sable. Hunter suggests that sable was alive when he was discovered by a tiger: he'd bitten it in the trap, leaving the skin four "bullet" holes with their fangs, but gnaw it was not" - quoted by hunter Denis Moskalenko staff Komsomolsk nature reserve.

To verify the information received, on November 13, a group of reserve specialists moved to the reserve. According to them, the very next day they managed to find a trace of a tigress, the heel width of 8.5 cm, leading towards the border of the Oldzhikansky preserve. 

The "trailing" (following the trail) of the tiger continued for two days. The inspectors concluded that the tiger was hunting for elk. In addition, several “lounges” of the striped beast were recorded, which, according to group members, indicates that the animal was concerned - either by the proximity of the prey, or by the enemy.

At the same time, no trace of a person was found in this place. It was decided to stop the further tracing of the tiger because of difficult to reach areas. 

According to Sergey Aramilev, director of the Primorsky branch of the Amur Tiger Center, the fact that Amur tigers are developing the northern territories is not a sensation, at the same time it is a good sign confirming the general trend.

“There is a so-called “winter” and “summer” distribution of animals throughout the territory.  As is known, in summer, tigers have a wider range, and in winter, due to the high level of snow, it narrows.  For example, the northernmost footprint of a tiger, discovered during this year’s census, is within just a few daily tiger crossings from the reserve.  Therefore, it is premature to say that the female tiger has found its home in the reserve. If deep snow falls, she will have to go south - after her main types of victims,” the expert comments.

According to 2005 data, a stable group of tigers lived on the right bank of the Amur River, and in 2015, experts did not find any traces of this animal. This is due to the harsh conditions of this winter and other processes that led to the temporary disappearance of the Amur tiger from these places. It must be said that the range boundaries within the range of the species always have a “pulsating” character. After all, there are two main threats to the population of tigers - the low number of animals that make up its forage base (wild boar and red deer), as well as the hostile attitude of the local population. For them, the appearance of a tiger in their places of residence is a fact of unexpected and frightening, which often leads to the use of weapons during a meeting with a tiger because of panic fear, which arose not because of real danger, but uncertainty and prejudice.

“Let's hope that winter will be mild in those places, and the tigress will be able to gain a foothold in the new territory, and there, perhaps, one of the male wanderers will come over to it to create the northernmost group,” says Sergey Aramilev.

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