There is plenty of fascinating insight into the lives of Amur tigers in the recent report from the Ano Amur and ZSL Russia partnership project. Based in Lazovsky Zapovednik (LZ), Zov Tigra National Park (ZT) and adjacent areas, this wholistic project works with the park authorities to monitor tigers and provide technical support to rangers.
So far in 2020, working with partners the project has conducted tiger population monitoring, implemented improved management plans that have increased the effectiveness of anti-poaching activities in the area, and continued wildlife veterinary capacity building and strategic planning.
Camera trapping began over winter with paired cameras set at 110 locations for at least 90 days. Forty other camera traps remain in LZ and ZT to record supplemental information about resident tigers, including site persistence, body condition, and evidence of reproduction (cubs or lactating females). Poacher cams were also installed, hidden and camouflaged under the forest eyes initiative to record illegal entry into the protected areas.
This team have been reporting from Lazovsky Zapovednik for twenty years now, and have built up an impressive array of knowledge about the resident tigers and their kinship groups. As analysis has continued to improve, individual tigers are being recognised by their unique stripe patterns and family lineage has been established.
Although the data from these 2020 surveys will be analysed and submitted in the next report from this project, there are some fascinating stories from the tigers that have appeared on the images.
Photographs of a 14-year old male tiger “Yasha” (the oldest and longest continuously monitored male Amur tiger) with an injured tail. In 2019, after Yasha was displaced from his territory by a younger male, he injured his tail (perhaps in a fight with another tiger which illustrates the dangers faced by tigers without territories). Photographs revealed that the end of his tail was first constricted, and then fell off after several weeks, leaving a shortened tail.
Sabrina is the oldest recorded territorial female Amur tiger and at aged 15 is on her 5th litter of cubs. Researchers were excited to see that this experienced mother has successfully reared these two cubs to a year old from the evidence of this photo taken in June 2020.
You can read more about Sabrina and other tigresses in Lazovsky by reading How long do wild Amur tigers ? live by Linda Kerley
Read more about the work of Ano Amur and ZSL in 2020 in the full report published here