The Jewish Autonomous Region branch of the Russian Geographical Society held a meeting of its scientific council on 10 February in Birobidzhan, with Alexander Levintal, the regional governor, present.
A report, Conservation and Regeneration of the Amur Tiger Population in the Mid-Amur (at the Bastak Nature Reserve), was presented at the meeting.
Olga Polkovnikova, the report’s author and a researcher at Bastak, presented the results of tiger conservation efforts at the reserve in 2015-2016. The Russian Geographical Society helped to finance this work.
Ms Polkovnikova spoke about the Amur tigers currently living at the reserve. A tiger named Zolushka was the first female tiger released at the nature reserve in 2013, as part of the reintroduction programme. In 2015, Zolushka gave birth to two tiger cubs. The father was Zavetny, an Amur tiger who settled in the Jewish Autonomous Region of his own accord. The reserve’s specialists are now monitoring closely the tiger cubs’ growth and location.
The report noted that only these four Amur tigers live permanently in the region, but camera traps at Bastak recently captured images of an unknown adult male tiger, who had perhaps migrated from neighbouring areas in search of living space.
The tiger population is monitored with the help of camera traps, with 57 such cameras set up at Bastak. Researchers collected 2,500 photos and more than 300 videos of tigers from March 2014 to December 2016.
The arrival of Amur tigers at Bastak confirms that the programme to preserve and study this species in the Far East is a success, and marks a new stage in restoring the Jewish Autonomous Region’s tiger population.