Posted on 15 October 2020
14 October 2020 - A tiger cub reintroduced into the wild last year and found dead on 8 September is a reminder that progress to double wild tigers can come under threat unless poaching and the trade in tiger parts is tackled.
The cub, known as Pavlik, and his sister Elena were captured in Spring 2018 by the Primorsky Province Wildlife Management Department’s Conflict Resolution Group after efforts to deter the mother from hunting domestic dogs in the village of Aleksey-Nikolskoye failed. The tigers were placed into a rehabilitation centre before being released back into the wild - a process in which WWF Russia was involved.
“It hurts a lot when the animal you save with your own hands is found killed by poachers,” said Pavel Fomenko, Senior Specialist of the Rare Species Conservation Unit at WWF Russia’s Amur branch.
“One of the priorities now is to correctly assess the actions taken and the effort that should be taken when other conflict rehabilitated tigers are released in the wild, particularly in the edge of their home range.
“Pavlik’s death confirms once again that anti-poaching efforts, managing conflict between humans and large predators, raising public awareness and stopping illegal extraction of natural resources are still very important and should be continued.”
After the signal from Pavlik’ GPS collar stopped, the Primorsky Province Hunting Department’s Conflict Resolution Group found Pavlik’s remnants close to the village of Novostepanovka, Amurskaya Province. They immediately informed local enforcement authorities of the incident. Two people have been detained and a criminal investigation is proceeding.
Russia is home to an estimated 600 tigers, which are both increasing in numbers and dispersing into new areas. However, poaching remains a significant threat, with tiger products largely being traded across the nearby border with China for use in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as amulets and decorative items, and luxury products. TRAFFIC's 2019 Skin and Bones Unresolved report showed Russia had 34 tiger seizures from 2000 to 2018, comprising of mostly skins (at least 78 tigers involved) and bones (41). The exact number of poached tigers is only an approximate estimation, as there are no approved and applied methodologies for estimating illegal removals.
Yulia Fomenko, Communications Specialist, WWF Russia’s Amur branch, email: firstname.lastname@example.org