Habitat and diet
Within the Russian region of Amur - Ussuri, Amur tigers are concentrated in the area of Primorsky Krai and the southern part of Khabarovsk Krai. They share the dense, humid taiga of the area with other large predators such as wolves, bears, wolverines, lynxes and leopards of the local subspecies (Panthera pardus orientalis), threatened today too, among which is the dominant predator (with male brown bears). In fact, except for the largest brown bears, tigers occasionally hunt any of the previous animals. However, the most common prey of this animal are ungulates, mainly wild boar and large deer such as Japanese sika, the red deer and elk; still no known cases of people killed by Amur tigers. They are threatened by the quality of your skin and bones, which are sold on the Asian black market.
It is the subspecies of tiger that lives farther north in the evergreen forests of the southeastern tip of Russia and the border between Russia and China. In the early twentieth century spread throughout Mongolia, Manchuria and Korea, to the west of the Sea of Okhotsk, with a population of about 7,000, later reduced its range due to human pressure. In historical times disappeared from Lake Baikal, most of Manchuria and the Korean peninsula. At the present critical condition, leaving a single population, more or less continuously, in the region of the Amur River and the Sea of Japan, and like the rest of the tigers, this subspecies is protected internationally.
A Siberian tiger attacking a deer common during the winter (recreation situated at the Museum of Natural Sciences, Milan, Italy).
Status of the species population
The Amur tiger population in Russia remained relatively stable until around 1990, when the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequent economic crisis led to a sharp increase in poaching. In 1992 he began an intensive conservation program, conducted by scientists from Russia and other countries, known as the Siberian Tiger Project (Siberian Tiger Project), with the aim of halting the decline of the population and make it grow again. The program has had some success, making, for example, the population located in the reserve of Sikhote-Alin pass of 250 in 1992 to about 350 in 2004. However, many populations are isolated and have less than 20 animals, making them victims of consanguinity. A census conducted in 2005 showed that the Amur tiger population is around 500 individuals: adults and 97-112 cubs 334-417. This is a good indicator that the conservation programs initiated in the 1990s by the Russian government are working.
Unfortunately, poaching has now disappeared from the region and several tigers are still dying because of humans. This applies to several puppies are killed each year on the only road that crosses its territory.
The tiger presiding over the official seal of the Primorsky region (Russia), appears also in the Khavarovsk and the city of Vladivostok. It also appears on the shield team football Russian professional FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok. Hodori, the mascot of the Olympic Games in Seoul (1988) was a Siberian tiger.