Tracks of tigress and cub found in Jewish Autonomous Region

Tracks of tigress and cub found in Jewish Autonomous Region

20 February 2020

During a survey of suitable Amur tiger habitat in the Jewish Autonomous Region, monitoring group experts found paw prints of a tigress, which is likely raising a cub. The experts think that the tigress may be Filippa, the Amur Tiger Centre reports.


The expedition, which took place from 19 January to 4 February 2020, also involved employees of WWF Russia, the Tiger Centre and the Directorate for Wildlife Protection and Specially Protected Natural Areas of the Jewish Autonomous Region.


The experts focused on surveying the Dichun and Zhuravliny nature sanctuaries and the Pompeyevka River basin, where tigers were previously released under the programme to reintroduce tigers in their historical range.


According to Sergei Aramilev, general director of the Amur Tiger Centre, counting tigers in the Jewish Autonomous Region is not difficult, since camera traps cover most of the area where tigers appear and data obtained from them allow researchers not only to determine the total number of tigers, but also to personally monitoring each one.


“Nevertheless, Filippa the tigress and Saikhan the tiger disappeared from the sight of scientists for some time – we no longer receive signals from their collars, and camera traps do not spot them, as they most likely moved to new areas. In this regard, the main goal of our experts on this expedition was to search for these two predators. I must say that they quite likely succeeded. In the potential home range of Filippa, the experts found paw prints of a tigress with a cub less than two years old, which gives us reason to be happy for her. Of course, there is a small chance that this is an unknown tigress, but it is certainly not the tigress from Lazo, or Svetlaya or Zolushka. The situation with Saikhan is more complicated, since a paw print similar to his was found in the area where he is believed to be. But it could be Boris or the males from Svetlaya’s first litter. Our employees managed to collect waste samples for this tiger, so the DNA analysis will help determine whether they belong to Saikhan or another tiger. And, of course, we are waiting for data from camera traps to confirm or refute our assumptions,” said Sergei Aramilev.


Filippa’s tracking collar stopped working in October 2018, but in February 2019, Filippa was sighted by a camera trap. The images showed that the tigress was healthy and well-fed. Scientists believed that she would deliver her first litter.


While surveying the grounds and collecting data from camera traps, the specialists also obtained information on tigers previously reintroduced to the wild.


“It was confirmed that three tiger litters live in the Dichun and Zhuravliny nature sanctuaries and the adjacent hunting grounds. One female has one cub, another has two cubs, and the third one has three cubs. Males also live there. The count data is still being processed, but the very presence of females with cubs indicates that the group is stable and sustainable there,” said Viktor Kuzmenko, chairman of the board of the Tiger Centre.