Pavlik and Yelena continue to explore the Amur Region

Pavlik and Yelena continue to explore the Amur Region

12 December 2019

The Amur tigers Pavlik and Yelena, who returned to the wild this spring, continue to explore the Amur Region, where they were released. Yelena currently lives in the protected section of the Khingan Nature Reserve. Pavlik is still travelling around the northern bank of the Amur River, according to the Amur Tiger Centre.


“In mid-October 2019, experts who monitor the movements of the reintroduced tigers via their GPS tracking collars recorded unusual activity from Pavlik and Yelena: the brother and sister, who were quite far from each other, left the Khingan Nature Reserve and headed to the north of the Amur Region almost at the same time. Yelena, after covering a large distance, changed her mind and took a long way back to the reserve, while Pavlik continues his journey and has already reached the Bureya Reservoir. The tiger was exploring the area around it for some time and then went further north,” the message reads.


According to experts, all males released into the wild before demonstrated their wanderlust: Boris went to China, Saikhan travelled along a similar route but later returned to his release site, and Vladik, after his release near the Bikin River, went from the Pozharsky to Khasan District of the Primorye Territory, then travelled north. Scientists lost his trail somewhere around the Spassky District.


Experts thought that Pavlik would move around the northern Amur Region, which has few hoofed animals, for a while and then return to the Khingan Ridge with its good food supply, but the young tiger seems to be in no rush to go back.


“Pavlik hunts successfully: he recently killed a young moose. His trip further north came to a stop at the reservoir. He attempted to swim across it, if the data from his tracking collar are right, but changed his mind. It’s quite a long distance, and he could have drown if there was a big wave, which happens often when the weather changes. Now he is slowly returning to the south of the region. We should accept the fact that even if Pavlik goes back to the reserve, he will live outside it. The question is whether he returns to the protected section. I should note that the number of hoofed animals outside the reserve in the Amur Region, in hunting areas, is enough for a tiger, and the regional hunting supervision service works well. So we have no reason to worry about the tiger. We continue to track his movements,” said Sergei Aramilev, director general of the Amur Tiger Centre.


At the same time, Yelena lives happily in the Khingan Nature Reserve and, according to the experts, has an exemplary diet. It includes boars: the monitoring group that checks on the tigress’s cluster finds the carcasses regularly.


“The tigress hunts well regardless of what the landscape is like: she managed to hunt both in valleys and on ridges, which means she has good hunting skills,” said Vyacheslav Kastrikin, deputy director for research at the Khingan Nature Reserve.