Monitoring group returns from Jewish Autonomous Region with new camera trap data

Monitoring group returns from Jewish Autonomous Region with new camera trap data

13 November 2019

Members of the monitoring group, which comprises employees of the Amur Tiger Centre, the Tiger Centre and the regional hunting supervision service, returned from their latest expedition to the Jewish Autonomous Region after collecting new data from the camera traps in the Zhuravliny Sanctuary in the Pompeyevka River basin and resolving the conflict involving the tiger Saikhan in the taiga village of Novy.


According to Viktor Kuzmenko, director of the Tiger Centre, the Zhuravliny Sanctuary is home to several tigers that returned to the wild as part of the tiger reintroduction programme on the border of their historical range.


“The tigress Svetlaya, who has been living in Zhuravliny for a long time, appeared in photos as usual. In addition, a son from her first litter with Boris was caught on camera near Pompeyevka for the third time. It looks like he has finally established his permanent hunting grounds, which partly overlap with those of the tigress from Lazo and Filippa, who also live in that area. Unfortunately, neither Boris nor Filippa and the tigress from Lazo appeared in photos, but this is easy to explain: the water was high there in the summer, so perhaps the tigers had to move,” Viktor Kuzmenko said. 


After collecting data from camera traps, members of the monitoring group set off for the village of Novy, where the young tiger Saikhan, released in the taiga last spring, had recently killed a local resident’s horse.


According to Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Centre, there is no doubt that the horse was killed by Saikhan.


“At that moment his collar was still working, and we were able to monitor his movements. We had been concerned that Saikhan could attack livestock, because the Old Believers living in the village of Novy right next to the tiger’s hunting area do not take our recommendations not to release their animals to gaze freely very seriously. We have purchased and set up several electric fences in the village in order to prevent any possible conflicts and protect the cattle there, but, unfortunately when the equipment was on its way, Saikhan caught and killed a horse that ran away from a community member. Although the animal was alone and very far away from the village, we provided compensation for the damage caused by the tiger. The monitoring group gave the owner of the horse another one of the same age with similar breeding abilities. The conflict was resolved, and we hope that the owner of the killed horse does not hold a grudge against Saikhan, who, in fact, is not to blame,” Aramilev noted.


Working with the people living in the tiger habitat and minimising the possibility of conflicts between tigers and humans are key tasks of the Amur Tiger Centre.


The Amur Tiger Centre has given compensation for the damage tigers inflict on livestock and pets since December 2015 as part of an agreement with the Sogaz insurance company. The owner of the animal always receives compensation, regardless of who is at fault for the attack, the tiger or its victim. The compensation is only provided in-kind: animals or animal feed in proportion to the loss incurred.


The compensation mechanism has significantly eased tension between humans and tigers and lessened people’s desire to seek revenge on tigers for the loss of their animals, which often ended tragically for the tiger.

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