Khabarovsk international conference discusses preservation of Amur tiger

The International conference on preservation of the Amur tiger population opened today in Khabarovsk, a city in the Russian Far East. The forum of ecology experts from Russia, Great Britain, the USA, India and other countries was organized on the initiative of the Russian Natural Resources Ministry, the World Wildlife Fund and the US Wildlife Conservation Fund.

According to experts' estimates, in the beginning of the 20th century the number of Amur tigers in the Russian Far East exceeded 1,000. Now, there are about 400-450 left and poaching is one of the reasons.

Yet an even more serious problem, according to the conference participants, is the decreasing number of habitats of the rare animal due to the expanding economic activities of man. People are more and more assimilating the primeval taiga, which results in smaller numbers of boars, Siberian stags, reindeer and thus in a lack of food for the tiger.

The Russian federal and local authorities have created a large network of especially protected areas in the Far East. They have formed special Tiger teams to protect the animal's habitats, signed numerous decrees and instructions. However, additional and more efficient measures are necessary, the conference's participants believe.

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