Migration of big cats discussed in Beijing

Migration of big cats discussed in Beijing

1 December 2016

On 28-29 November, China’s capital hosted a meeting attended by employees of Land of the Leopard National Park and China’s Feline Research Centre. Participants in the meeting discussed a report on a project, “Study on transborder movement of Amur tigers and leopards using camera trapping and molecular genetic analysis.” The report was developed by Land of the Leopard, the Institute of Biology and Soil Science of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far Eastern branch, and the Feline Research Centre of the Chinese State Forestry Administration.


The study showed that 19 tigers and 15 leopards were recorded in both countries during the research period, with some of them crossing the Russian-Chinese border up to 10 times. Special attention was given to animals that left Russia and made China their permanent home: two young tigers and two leopards did so. “Apparently, the growing population of Far Eastern leopards and Amur tigers forces them to explore the Chinese forests bordering with Russia where large felines used to live but were hunted to extinction. This is a natural process of habitat expansion,” said Anna Vitkalova, head of the research department at Land of the Leopard.


Participants in the meeting outlined an action plan for preserving the large felines and improving the cooperation between cross-border specially protected areas.


Russia and China regularly exchange data on the tiger and leopard populations in their countries. Cross-border migration of rare big cats was discussed in Harbin in 2015.