New evidence of wild Siberian tigers found in China

Beijing, Jan 5 (IANS) Footprints and dead prey from wild Siberian tigers were found at a tree farm in China’s Jilin province, suggesting the expansion of the tiger’s population and range of activities in China, authorities said on Tuesday.

According to officials with the Baishishan Forestry Bureau, which administers the farm, it was the first time traces of wild Siberian tigers were found within its administration, Xinhua reported.

A ranger patrolling the farm on December 11 found several footprints and traces of a big animal lying in the snow.

The forestry bureau launched a thorough search with more than 1,000 people from December 14 to 19 and found the remains of two wild boars.

The larger boar was missing its internal organs, while the smaller boar, lying more than 10 metres away, was half-eaten.

Wu Zhigang, a research fellow with the Jilin provincial institute of forestry sciences, noted that the population of wild Siberian tigers is on the rise and their range of activities is expanding. The latest survey found 27 Siberian tigers in Jilin.

There is an ecological corridor from the Sino-Russian border to the Huangnihe nature reserve near the area administered by the Baishishan Forestry Bureau en route to the Tianqiaoling area, he said.

Infrared cameras showed footprints and pictures of the tigers in the Tianqiaoling area last December, where the tigers became extinct in the mid-1980s.

Siberian tigers are among the world’s most endangered species. They mostly live in northeast China and eastern Russia.

Jilin has banned commercial logging in key state-owned tree farms on April 1 last year, which has improved the living environment for the Siberian tigers.

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