Moscow hosts international conference on Amur tiger conservation

Moscow hosts international conference on Amur tiger conservation

23 November 2017

On 15 November 2017, Moscow Zoo’s Zoo-Depot hosted an international conference, Amur Tiger Population in Captivity: Development Prospects and Tasks for the Future. The event was attended by representatives from zoos, public organisations together with government agencies from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Estonia, the United States, Germany, Great Britain, and South Korea.


In his opening remarks, Amur Tiger Centre director general Sergei Aramilev noted the role that zoos play in the conservation of species. Yet, according to the centre specialists, the population of the rare wild cat in Russia is currently stable and there is no need for reintroduction of the species raised in captivity.  “The experience gained by the zoos and the experience obtained while preparing tigers to be released into the wild will be priceless, say, for the restoration of the tiger population in Kazakhstan, if such a decision is taken. Also, the zoo conditions allow for the possibility to carry out  scientific experiments the results of which would help in seeking for better solutions when it comes to conflict situations between tigers and human beings,” Mr Aramilev said.


Amirkhan Amirkhanov, Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, addressed the conference with a report, Amur Tiger Population in the Russian Federation: Main Problems of Conservation and Restoration and Results of Implementation of Programmes and Strategies for Conservation.


Sergei Naidenko, deputy director of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences, presented the results of the institute’s work, including that of a project dedicated to the restoration of the Amur tiger population in the Jewish Autonomous Region. “Two female tigers, Svetlaya and Zolushka, produced offspring in the wild thus proving that their reintroduction had been successful,” he said.


Alla Glukhova, coordinator of the programme for Amur tigers of the Euro-Asian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EARAZA), reported on the implementation of the Global Species Management Plan (GSMP), established in 2013. “The programme aims to unite the efforts in conservation and to maintain the global Amur tiger population in captivity. Currently, the population numbers 481 tigers. Genetic diversity of this population is 98 percent with 88 founders, which is considered a very high indicator for an artificial population. It can be concluded that, despite the political and legal difficulties that all coordinators face, due to the efforts of numerous zoos worldwide we manage to preserve purebred Amur tigers and maintain the stable condition of their population ex situ,” Ms Glukhova emphasised.


The highlight of the reports of the conference participants will be published in January 2018 on the Amur Tiger Centre’s official website.