Kazakhstan works on a programme to restore the tiger population

Kazakhstan works on a programme to restore the tiger population

25 March 2011

Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov has shown interest in drawing up an effective programme for reintroducing a population of tigers – a species that previously inhabited the area around Lake Balkhash, and suggested allocating substantial funds from the state budget for this purpose.


Zoologists maintain that Amur tigers may be used to inhabit the area once occupied by the Turan tiger, because they are almost genetically identical to this extinct subspecies, wiped out in Central Asia in the 20th century.


Speaking at the tiger forum in St Petersburg last November, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that Russia is willing to cooperate with Kazakhstan and Iran in restoring the tiger population in Asia. A joint effort may lay the foundation for reintroducing tigers to these countries.


In the Far East, Russia has one of the largest wild populations of the Amur tiger subspecies (about 450 tigers, or 10% of the world's population) owing to the protective measures taken in the 1950s-1980s – a complete ban on their hunting in the Primorye Territory, the capture of tiger cubs, the formation of nature reserves and specially protected territories, and the conduct of research.