Less than 35 Amur leopard remain in the wild
April 19, 2007
"The recent census confirmed once again that the Amur leopard survives on very shaky ground," said Pavel Fomenko, biodiversity conservation program coordinator at the Far-Eastern branch of WWF in Russia.
Fomenko said development pressures, new roads, poaching, exploitation of forests, and climate change are driving the Amur leopard towards extinction, but that conservation efforts could save the species.
"From my perspective, the leopards' exact number is not the big question. What is really important is that the predator is on the brink of extinction. And still a unified protected area with national park status has not been established, which is the most important thing for the leopards' survival."
Photo courtesy of WWF
"Maybe this is the reason why leopards practically completely disappeared from the Korean Peninsula and north-east China," said Dr. Pikunov. "At the beginning of the past century, the Far Eastern leopard was a common species in the southern parts of Sikhote-Alin and in some Khanka lake areas. Right now it roams only in south-west Primorye."
The good news from the census, which was conducted by World Wildlife Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Pacific Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Science, is that Amur leopard populations appear to be increasing: the 2000 census listed a range or 22-28 animals, the 2003 census showed 28-30 animals, and the 2007 census estimated 25-34 animals.
Trafficking of tiger parts is rife in Myanmar
(10/15/2008) Trafficking of parts from endangered wild cats is rife in Myanmar (Burma) according to a new report from TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Surveys conducted by TRAFFIC over the past 15 years have turned up 1,320 wild cat parts from at least 1,158 individual animals, including 107 tigers. The group says the toll in the country is far higher.
Group takes "venture capital" approach to conservation
(9/16/2008) An innovative group is using a venture capital model to save some of the world's most endangered species, while at the same time working to ensure that local communities benefit from conservation efforts. The Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), an organization based in Los Altos, California, works to protect threatened species by focusing on what it terms "conservation entrepreneurs" -- people who are passionate about saving wildlife and have creative ideas for dong so. After a rigorous review process to identify and select projects that will have the greatest impact on conservation in developing countries, WCN provides the conservationist with fund-raising and back-office support, technology, and access to its network of people and resources.
Camera traps capture photos of predators in Myanmar
(9/4/2008) Myanmar's dense northern wild lands, researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society have painstakingly gathered a bank of valuable data on the country's populations of tigers and other smaller, lesser known carnivores (see photo attachments). These findings will help in the formulation of conservation strategies for the country's wildlife.
Indonesian raids on tiger traffickers yielding arrests in Sumatra
(9/2/2008) A raid on illegal tiger traders in Indonesia resulted in four arrests in Sumatra, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The arrests come under a new crack-down by Indonesian authorities on the sales of tiger parts. 10 traffickers have been arrested in the past 3 months.
Nepal's tiger population plummets due to poaching
(7/2/2008) Nepal's tiger population have plummeted due to poaching and a booming trade in their parts, according to a government survey released Tuesday.
Chinese prefer tigers in the wild over tigers on their plates
(7/2/2008) A new survey shows that most Chinese would rather have tigers living in the wild than tiger products on their dinner plates. However the poll also revealed some notable contradictions in attitudes toward the trade in tiger parts.
Major tiger conservation effort gets underway
(6/10/2008) A broad alliance of environmentalits, scientists, and celebrities have teamed with the World Bank Group and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to help protect wild tigers.
India has 1400 tigers -- not 3500
(3/13/2008) A census of India's reserves found 1,411 tigers rather than the 3,508 estimated previously, according to the State Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Saving forgotten species: An interview with Carly Waterman, Program Coordinator of EDGE
(2/28/2008) In January 2007 a new conservation initiative arrived with an unusual level of media attention. The attention was due to the fact that the organization was doing things differently—very differently. Instead of focusing their efforts on the usual conservation-mascots like the panda or tiger, they introduced the public to long-ignored animals: photos of the impossibly unique aye-aye and a baby slender loris wrapped around a finger appeared in newsprint worldwide. The new initiative EDGE (Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered), launched by the Zoological Society of London, was not concerned with an animal's perceived popularity, rather the chose their focal species on a combined measurement of a species' biological uniqueness and its vulnerability to extinction. Consequently, they hoped to make celebrities out of animals (big and small) most people had never heard of: the hairy-eared dwarf lemur, anyone?
$100 billion worth of carbon released from deforestation in Riau, Sumatra
(2/27/2008) A WWF study found that deforestation of nearly 10.5 million acres of tropical forests and peat swamp in central Sumatra's Riau Province over the past 25 years has generated 3.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide. Based on today's $32 closing price for a ton of carbon dioxide for European Union Allowances, the emissions had a theoretical trading value of $118 billion, assuming they could have been traded at the full E.U. carbon price at the time (voluntary offsets would have been worth about $13 billion).
5,000 mile-long tiger corridor proposed
(2/13/2008) The Wildlife conservation Society and the Panthera Foundation announced plans to establish a 5,000 mile-long "genetic corridor" from Bhutan to Burma that would span eight countries and allow tiger populations to roam freely across the largest remaining block of tiger habitat. The plan has been endorsed by leading conservationists and the new King of Bhutan, his Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Sumatran tiger faces extinction due to wildlife trade
(2/12/2008) The critically endangered Sumatran Tiger faces extinction due to the tiger parts trade in Indonesia, reports a new report from TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network run by IUCN and WWF.
Thailand's forests could support 2,000 tigers
(12/19/2007) Thailand's network of parks could support 2,000 tigers, reports a new study by Thailand's Department of National Park, Wildlife, and Plant conservation and the New York-based Wildlife conservation Society.
Saving tigers in India
(11/8/2007) Over the past century the number of tigers in India has fallen from about 40,000 to less than 4,000 (and possibly as few as 1,500). Relentless poaching and clearing of habitat for agriculture have been the primary drivers of this decline, though demand for tiger skins and parts for "medicinal" purposes has become an increasingly important threat in recent years.
Asia's tigers could get big boost from small conservation efforts
(11/5/2007) Small changes to the management of wildlife reservers in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal could dramatically boost endangered tiger populations, reports a new study published in the journal Biological conservation.
Threatened Amur tiger shows signs of recovery
(10/31/2007) In a world where many animals are under siege, the Amur tiger -- popularly known in the West as the Siberian tiger -- offers an encouraging message: the population of the huge cat is showing signs of recovery.
First photos of a wild South China Tiger in 34 years
(10/14/2007) While there has been proof that the South China Tiger still lives in the Shaanxi province--sightings by locals, findings of footprints, hair, and teeth--there has been no photographic evidence of this species since 1964. But on October 3rd a local farmer, Zhou Zhenglong, took a total of 71 pictures of a South China Tiger in the wild. For his efforts the farmer received a payment of 20,000 yuan.
Congress urged to protect big cats, endangered dogs
(9/7/2007) Efforts to protect many of the world's largest and most endangered wild relatives of cats and dogs recently moved a step closer to victory with a congressional hearing on the Great Cats and Rare Canids bill. Today's hearing was the first since the bill's introduction in 2004, according to the Wildlife conservation Society and other environmental groups which support this legislative initiative.
Chinese demand takes toll on wildlife in Burma (Myanmar)
(9/4/2007) If the market of Mong La is anything to go by, the remaining wild elephants, tigers and bears in Myanmar's forests are being hunted down slowly and sold to China.
Meeting seeks to save Sumatra's tigers and elephants from extinction
(8/29/2007) Over 100 wildlife experts and government officials will meet in Indonesia Wednesday to draft an action plan to save Sumatran elephnts and tigers from extinction, reports Reuters.
- this report used quotes and information from WWF