Amur Tiger Seeks Help from Humans
In the Russian Far East Primorye, a young Amur tiger left the forest with an illegal poachers trap grasping his paw. The weakened tiger was crying out from the pain as he entered the village. The tiger appeared to be asking for help as he walked from place to place and didn’t seem interested in returning to the forest.
Paw Caught in a Trap
Local hunters, came to the aid of the young male, thought to be about one year of age, by calling on the police and forest rangers for their assistance. The tiger was humanely captured and the trap was successfully removed from his paw. Local experts think the tiger accidentally got caught in a trap set for a much smaller animal. The lure of the bait in the trap was too hard for the tiger to resist.
Get Well Soon!
Circuses End Performing Lions and Tigers in the United Kingdom
Big changes are underway under the Big Top in the United Kingdom. Traveling circuses have started their season but for the first time no circus will be entertaining the crowd with performing big cats. The Great British Circus was the last show to feature tigers doing tricks and they sent their cats to an operator in Ireland just in time before the new animal welfare regulations became active last month.
The Victorian era ushered in circuses with performing elephants, lions and tigers on tour. The last time the circuses toured without exotic animals was around 1768 when the first modern circus entertained the spectators with horses and riders performing daring feats. Wild animals did not debut in the circus until after the British empire expanded in the 19th century. Wild animals were captured and brought back to be put on display at a time when the average person had little chance of seeing a live lion, tiger or elephant let alone watch them performing tricks.
Over the last couple hundred years, our world is a very different place. We have access to learning about and seeing lions, tigers and elephants from many sources, whether that be a zoological park, a sanctuary, learning via the internet or nature programs on television. We also know more about the big cats that share our world and most people are concerned about how they are treated and find physical abuse unacceptable in modern society.
A Moment of Silence for the Amur Tiger
I have something super serious to tell you. Eight Amur tiger skins have been seized from a citizen in the town of
Arseniev in the Russian Far East. Wildlife experts think the poachers killed the entire tiger family including two cubs estimated to be 1-2 months old.
The deaths of these tigers is a crushing blow to wild tiger conservation. There are only an estimated 8-10 adult Amur tigers living in the Lazovsky Nature Reserve, one of the largest nature reserves in the Primorye, the far south-eastern edge of Russia.
Amur Tiger Conservation Efforts
The Amur tiger is in a battle against extinction. Scientists are worried that even though there are around 500 Amur tigers surviving in the wild, low genetic diversity is making the subspecies vulnerable to disease. In fact the effective population was estimated at just 14 individuals remaining. The troublesome low effective population size dims the hope for the recovery of the big cat. To lose 8 healthy tigers, an entire family, to poachers is devastating.
It is important to understand there are many people in the Russian Far East that are protective of the Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), you might know this tiger better by the name Siberian tiger. This tiger subspecies is listed as critically endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and in the Red Books of the Russian Federation. Following the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg in 2010 the Russian Government began allocating money to conserve Amur tigers in protected areas. But they are facing a formidable opponent and that is the demand for tiger skins and tiger derivatives, such as bones and other parts for tiger wine, soups and traditional medicinal practices. As the tiger population dwindles, the price of tiger parts goes up because of scarcity.
Younger Generation is Driving the Illegal Trade!
This weekend many people will celebrate Father’s Day so I wanted to share this story with you about a tiger from Ranthambore National Park in Northern India. A few months ago a male tiger was observed keeping watch over two six month old cubs. According to forest officials, the cubs’ mother died early last year from septicemia and the tiny cubs were missing until later observed with an adult male tiger that experts think might be the cubs’ father.
The male tiger’s behavior is unusual because male tigers have not been observed protecting their cubs. Traditionally, the mother tiger cares for the cubs until they are at least two years old. This role reversal caught forest officials and wildlife expert Rajpal Singh by surprise. Singh said that tigers have been sighted in Ranthambore with their complete families, but that this was the first time only a male tiger has been seen looking after small cubs.
There are tigers living on top of the world and this is terrific news. Wild tiger populations are dwindling and there
has not been much good news to report about any of the remaining 5 subspecies of tigers that share our world, but recently a “lost” population of tigers has been filmed living at a higher altitude in the Himalayas than was previously thought that tigers could survive.
Tigers have been known to live in the Himalayan foothills of Bhutan, but when Bhutanese villagers reported that tigers were living as high as 13,000 ft (4000 m), Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, the President of Panthera, decided to investigate. Dr. Rabinowitz, along with BBC Wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan travelled to Bhutan in search of the mountain tigers. After treking up the mountain, Buchanan set up a series of camera traps that would capture any animal that passed by. The Panthera team left camera traps as high as 4100 meters, a level where trees begin to struggle for survival.
Three months later, Gordon returned to his camera traps to see what animals had passed by. Incredibly, the cameras shot footage of two wild tigers, one male and one female. These images are the first known footage of tigers in the remote mountains of Bhutan and the first concrete evidence that tigers are capable of living at that altitude. This is the only place on earth known to have tigers, leopards and snow leopards all sharing the same valley.
Tigers! New Rules! You Can Help!
Camouflaged among the pages of the Federal Register/Vol. 76, No. 162/ Monday, August 22, 2011/ Proposed Rules, pages 52297-52301, hidden between pages and pages of proposed rules, the most important action to SAVE TIGERS in over 10 years is waiting for your support by just leaving a comment before September 21, 2011.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service propose to amend the regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act by removing inter-subspecific crossed or generic tiger (Panthera tigris)(i.e.,specimens not identified or identifiable as members of Bengal, Sumatran, Siberian or Indochinese subspecies from the list of species that are exempt from registration under the Captive-bred Wildlife (CBW) regulations.” To read the entire proposal, click here.
Don’t be overwhelmed when you see the words crammed on the pages. All you need to do is leave a comment in your own words. Simply say you are FOR the new rule rescinding the generic tiger exemption. That is all you have to say and you will have done an amazing thing towards saving our big cat cousins. It will only take about 30 seconds and it doesn’t cost a penny. Won’t you please help? Click Here for the Comment form.
Happy The Tiniest Tiger Imitation Tuesday!
It has been a while since my last imitation. I think you will agree that I am improving all the time. Today I am doing my best Amur Tiger! You might need to wear sunglasses to help you with the glare off of the snow.
The wild tiger’s shrinking numbers are due to habitat loss caused by human encroachment, poaching fueled by greed, and starvation from lack of prey. Wild tigers need plenty of room to roam and the tiger’s contiguous territory is shrinking. Human populations and economic expansion has led to the razing of tiger habitats for plantations, mines and other agriculture. Over development by humans has left the tiger population in fragmented groups, leading to smaller genetic units with limited availability of prey animals. The tigers caught in these tiny territories are the most vulnerable to the most pressing threat; poaching.
To make matters worse, the increasing captive tiger population camouflages the severity of the wild tiger crisis. So many captive tigers estimated at over 5000 in the United States alone, may make it hard for the average person to fathom that tigers are at risk in the wild.
Friends, I have had some time to prepare for my latest tiger imitation. This particular imitation took longer than usual due to the inaccessibility of the plants in my habitat. All of the snow and rain of late, made me long for sunny days when the grass is green and the trees have leaves. One thing led to another and I now proudly present to you my Tiger Eyes through the Leaves imitation.
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