No cutting down Korean cedar pine, in tiger preservation effort

No cutting down Korean cedar pine, in tiger preservation effort

19 November 2010

The Russian government has passed a resolution enacting an updated list of trees and undergrowth, including the Korean cedar pine, which cannot be procured for timber. The Korean cedar pine is a major component of the Siberian taiga's biosphere, as well as the main source of food for boars, on which the Amur tiger preys.

"A ban on felling cedar pine trees is the best gift for the Amur tiger during the Year of the Tiger and a giant step towards saving this rare cat's key habitats," said WWF Russia director Igor Chestin. "Consequently, one of the key World Wildlife Foundation Russia recommendations, prepared for the International Tiger Conservation Forum, has been fulfilled," he added.

"Cedar pine forests are now in the worst condition in their modern history," said Denis Smirnov, director of the forest programme of the WWF Russia Amur Division. "No half-measures will save cedar pine forests from complete degradation. On behalf of the Amur tiger, the World Wildlife Foundation would like to thank the Russian government and the Federal Forestry Agency for saving the Korean cedar pine."

The government said 'No' to felling Korean cedar pine trees in the run-up to the International Tiger Conservation Forum, scheduled for November 21-24 in St Petersburg. The forum will bring together experts on vanishing species and heads of government from the 13 countries that still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia. The heads of government are expected to approve a programme to double the tiger population in the next 12 years.