Transborder cooperation in tiger and leopard conservation discussed in Harbin

Transborder cooperation in tiger and leopard conservation discussed in Harbin

2 August 2019

The Chinese city of Harbin hosted an international conference on the conservation of tigers and leopards at Northeast Forestry University on 27-30 July. The forum was attended by over 300 experts from 19 countries.


The conference focused on the monitoring of habitats and the current condition of the populations of large cats, especially tigers and leopards, as well as restoring these species in nature. In addition, much attention was paid to the maintaining of their environment, the resolution of conflicts between man and wild animals as well as establishing of an international mechanism of exchanges and cooperation for the transborder protection of the tiger and leopard populations.


Experts noted that the presence of tigers and leopards in their natural environment is a major indicator of a healthy multicomponent ecosystem, natural stability and environmental safety.


Members of the Russian Geographical Society project on studying rare mammals also attended the conference.


The project manager, Vyacheslav Rozhnov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Director of the academy’s Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution shared the Russian experience in studying the Amur tiger. Moreover, Russian scientists and their Chinese colleagues presented the first results of their three-year Russian-Chinese research project under the Severtsov Institute and the Nature and Ecology Institute of Heilongjiang Academy of Sciences.


The project objective is to comprehensively assess whether the Lesser Khingnan Mountains are fit for tiger habitation and the opportunities to restore the tiger’s population in the mountainous system. The reports presented the results of habitat assessment and modeling in Taipingou National Park where several important tiger migration routes cross, and in the general Lesser Khingnan Mountains area. To this end scientists applied up-to-date modelling methods, such as maximum entropy, discriminant analysis, determination of the degree of habitat fragmentation, and potential ecological corridors based on geo-referenced and field verification data.


In the participants’ view, despite some achievements in tiger and leopard protection, the big cats are still endangered species and face many problems including limited area in protected territories, fragmentation and lack of cohesiveness.


Although the Amur tiger and the Far Eastern leopard at the Russian-Chinese border were the symbols of the conference the scientists also gave presentations on large cats in India, Nepal, Pakistan and other countries in Southeast Asia and South America.