CGTN television channel to make a film on Amur tiger conservation in the Far East

CGTN television channel to make a film on Amur tiger conservation in the Far East

10 September 2021

On 5 September, a Russian film crew from the CGTN international news channel began working on a special report on Russian-Chinese cooperation in nature conservation in the Far East.


Over the course of the week, the CGTN-Russian film crew visited three regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, six villages and three specially protected natural areas.


“Arriving from Moscow to Khabarovsk on Sunday 5 September, the film crew travelled to Arkhara and the Khingan Nature Reserve in the Amur Region, and then on to Primorye, where they visited Dalnerechensk, the Sredneussuriisky Nature Sanctuary  and the Primorye Territory Department for Hunting Supervision (16 Zarechnaya, Ussuriisk). The three journalists will also travel to the village of Barabash and Land of the Leopard National Park, while Vladivostok will be the final destination of their Far Eastern trip,” the Amur Tiger Centre said on its website.


Yevgenia Strygina who heads the special report project said it would focus on the conservation of the Amur tiger population as well as birds’ migration routes between Russia and China. In her film, she is going to show how the two countries cooperate on preserving the populations of rare animal species.


According to her, the project should be ready in time for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will be held in the Chinese province of Yunnan under the auspices of the United Nations. It will be broadcast on all CGTN platforms, on social media and partner channels.


“The most important point is the Sredneussuriiskiy Nature Sanctuary, which connects the Amur tiger population in the Sikhote-Alin with their relatives on the Vandashan mountains in the Heilongjiang Province. At the Primorye hunting supervision headquarters, we talked about how Russia is building interaction with the Chinese side and what aspects they are focusing on together. Inspectors are busy with their immediate field objectives. Employees at the office analyse their field data. They have a fascinating monitoring centre there – we could see the locations we had visited, and how close the tigers were to us,” she said.


General director of the Amur Tiger Centre Sergei Aramilev spoke with the reporters about the exchange of practical and scientific data between the Russian and Chinese researchers on the movement of “bipatride” tigers. He shared information on how they manage and fill the database on the largest northern wild cats; how tiger-human conflict resolution teams work in Russia, as well as hotlines that collect details about such cases; and how the Centre ensures the safety and control of the inspectors’ work, what their workplaces look like and what kind of equipment they use.


“When we arrived at the reserve, they immediately began to tell us about poachers, and the methods of tracking people who, knowingly or unknowingly, destroy ecosystems. And it was certainly mind-boggling to see some fresh Amur tiger footprints and realise the predator had just walked by where you were standing. It is also amazing how much specialists can deduce from such a small detail – the animal’s age, size, gender, approximate trajectory of movement, and so on. At such moments, you realise they are totally immersed in their work, to be able to put together a whole picture from small details,” Yevgenia Strygina added.


The researchers also explained to the journalists how a programme tracks the specialists’ location and how this information is transmitted. They shared some nuances of the monitoring centre’s work. The centre accumulates all location data including information about a couple of dozen tigers “with dual citizenship.” Other important topics included the history of Russian legislation regulating wildlife protection, the protection of wood-covered border corridors in the Amur tiger's range, and the next full-scale animal count.


Sergei Aramilev said the Amur Tiger Centre plans to resume mutual visits between Russian and Chinese specialists after the coronavirus pandemic ends, sign new cooperation agreements concerning protection of the Amur tiger and optimise the flow of information on poachers as part of international cooperation.


 “Russia and China have been cooperating on tiger conservation for a long time, since 1997. They adopted a number of joint initiatives at an international forum in 2010, agreeing to secure trans-border “crossings” by creating protected areas of various types. Three such areas have been created on the Russian side, Land of the Leopard National Park, the Sredneussuriisky Nature Sanctuary and the Komissarovsky State Nature Sanctuary. There is a plan to establish another protected area in the Jewish Autonomous Region. This exchange of experience is very important, and we hope that cooperation will continue in the same format,” Sergei Aramilev said, adding that with the growth of the tiger population in Russia, the number of tigers that cross the border with China is also increasing.


“Russia has more experience in resolving conflicts, something that will be useful to our Chinese colleagues, in particular, how to conduct awareness work, create conflict groups and methods to enable them to function, and to rehabilitate and reintroduce the Amur tiger. Sharing data on tiger crossings will contribute to the joint conservation effort. And of course, the interest of film crews from international television channels is another sign that both countries consider ‚Äč‚ÄčAmur tiger protection a priority,” he said.