Endangered Species

 
Endangered Species

Introduction

The Amur tiger is one of the rarest predators on the planet. It is considered the largest tiger in the world and the only large cat able to live in the cold weather and winter snow. According to Schneider (2012), the habitat of the tigers is located in the southeast areas of Russia. Today, about 90% of the total population of Amur tigers is concentrated in Russia (Schneider, 2012). Therefore, Russia is responsible for the preservation of the Amur tiger. The purpose of the paper is to examine the reasons of Amur tigers’ becoming endangered species and to present a possible solution.

Causes

One of the main reasons for the disappearance of Amur tigers was the destruction of natural habitats and subsequent decrease in the prey base. According to Stanturf, Madsen, and Lamb (2012), frequent forest fires also deprive Amur tigers of their habitats. These large predators need a rather extensive hunting territory: about 100 square kilometers per animal (Stanturf, Madsen, & Lamb, 2012). Research by Stanturf, Madsen, and Lamb (2012) also states that there is a significant reduction in the number of the red deer, wild boar, and roe deer, which constitute the Amur tiger’s prey base. It is one of the most significant negative factors affecting the size of the population of the tigers. Notably, the Amur tiger has no equal in terms of strength and power in the entire world’s fauna. The body length of the Siberian tiger reaches 3 meters with a tail while its height is around 100 cm in shoulders and weight, about 350 klograms (Park, 2016). Because of its large size, the Amur tiger needs much food. However, due to the destruction of its territories and the disappearance of many animals, there is not enough sustenance for the tigers.

Another important factor is poaching, which has always been the main threat to the existence of the big cats. The Siberian tiger’s bone and skin cost much money on China’s black market (Schneider, 2012). Since the Amur tiger is a large and exotically colored cat, tiger products are sold in most East Asian countries as a valuable medicinal raw material (Schneider, 2012). Thus, poachers frequently hunt these animals for profit.

Due to poaching and the destruction of natural habitats in the 1930s, the number of tigers was less than 50 individuals (Park, 2016). According to Park (2016), systematic actions for conservation of this species have achieved great results by the 1980s, and the number of animals has increased to 200. In the late 1980s, the demand for tiger’s bones increased dramatically, and well-organized poaching gangs greatly decreased the population of the tigers (Park, 2016). A program for the conservation of Amur tigers was renewed only in 1993, and their number increased to 430 in 1996 (Park, 2016). Nowadays, the number of the Amur tigers living in the wild is estimated to be about 550 individuals (Park, 2016). Many Amur tigers are also kept in zoos and private residences.

Conservation Strategy

The main objective of the strategy for conservation and restoration of Amur tigers’ populatioon lies in the mechanism of regulations. They would be aimed at protecting the biological parameters of the species from the negative effects of limiting factors and their variations and the stabilization of these parameters at the optimal level. At the basis of such mechanism, there should be the practical possibility of a full or partial blocking of the negative impact of limiting factors, including poaching and destruction of natural habitats. In A Goal-Oriented Approach to Forest Landscape Restoration, it is noted that “to maintain and increase the population of the Amur tiger, besides preserving enough total forest area, the forest structures that provide suitable habitat need to be promoted” (Stanturf, Madsen, & Lamb, 2012). Thus, there must be enough animals in forests to serve as food for the tigers as well as no external disturbances.

Conclusion

The Amur tiger is one of the biggest members of the cat family. It is also called the most northern tiger as it lives in the snow-covered areas. Massive felling and frequent forest fires lead to the destruction of the habitat of the Amur tiger, thus causing this animal to be an endangered species. Despite the fact that it is one of the largest land-based predators on the planet, it is a vulnerable animal. The situation was especially critical in the middle of the 20th century. However, due to the adopted measures, the population of Amur tigers has slightly increased. Nevertheless, people still should devote great effort to save the Amur tiger from extinction.

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