Is the Lesser Khingan Suitable for the Amur Tiger Restoration?

By 26th January 2023Conservation Papers

The Amur tiger has a status of being endangered on the world’s IUCN red list. The northwestern part of its range is situated in Russia and China, where tigers were killed by humans 50–70 years ago. To restore the tiger population within the historical range, firstly we estimated the condition of the environment there. We assessed suitability of habitats for the tiger’s prey species (wild ungulates) in the Lesser Khingan mountains (North China). For this we made modeling and calculations that were based on the information from satellite images and data we collected personally on the land surface during our expeditions. The resulting species distribution maps were used to design an ecological network. The habitat patches with the best quality (for tiger) were assigned as cores for the ecological network, which were connected by calculated green corridors. The recovery of the Amur tiger in habitats of China’s Lesser Khingan is confirmed possible. Natural green corridors for moving tigers are mainly located at the forests’ edges and characterized with high variability of the trees species. In this study, we describe three potential transboundary corridors and make recommendations to establish protected areas in the important tiger places. Moreover, it is necessary to implement habitat recovery activities for tiger key areas.

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