6 (27)The unique work on adaptation in the wild and the study of tigers released (in May and June 2014) in Amur Oblast (AO) and Jewish Autonomous Oblast (JAO) is continued.

Currently, a working group operates in the zakaznik (game reserve) "Zhuravliny" (JAO); the team includes members of the Primorye Regional Public Organization "Center for Rehabilitation of Tigers and Other Rare Animals” (PRPO "TIGER Center"), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an inspector of the Hunting Department of the JAO Government, and is supported by the "Phoenix" Fund. The working group has examined the hunting grounds of the young tigers and checked the installed camera traps. These traps have provided unique images that confirm the well-being of the released tigers.  

The "Zhuravliny" zakaznik became home to two tigers. Their story is really unique. Tigress Svetlaya (the name stands for Light) was released here in June 2014. Immediately after the release, she established her own territory within the boundaries of zakaznik. A year and a half later, the zakaznik was visited by a male tiger, Boris, which was released in the territory of the "Zheludinsky" zakaznik, Amur Oblast. Tiger Boris had to walk more than 500 km to find tigress Svetlaya (before that moment, the animals had seen each other only at the Rehabilitation Center)! In December 2015, their meeting in the wild was registered for the first time. Subsequently, the tigers met several times and spent a few days together. Tigers’ movements can be tracked using GPS-collars, which were put on them prior to their release. Since the moment of the release, the collars have operated without failures. The working group has repeatedly inspected the place of tigers’ rendezvous and set a few camera traps there. By snowtracking, the experts could find and observe the sites where the tigers had been together: sites of rest, cooperative hunting and playgrounds. A total of 15 events of their hunting on wild boars were recorded! This may indicate that the young tigers have formed a couple and that probably in the coming spring tigress Svetlaya will give birth to her first offspring. 

The collected data are unique indeed. They have given us the opportunity to familiarize with details of tigers’ life and their social interactions for the first time.

The monitoring works are carried out by PRNCO "TIGER Center", inspectors of the Hunting Department of the JAO Government, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), researchers of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the staff of the "Bastak" and "Khingan" nature reserves, and supported by the "Phoenix" Fund and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

E. Blidchenko


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