Since 2011, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation has been supporting WWF in driving Tx2 – the global goal to double the number of tigers in the wild.
The Foundation’s philanthropic donation goes towards protecting Amur tigers, which supports the monitoring of the wild Amur tiger and leopard, recovery of prey animals, strengthening anti-poaching efforts, and improving community livelihoods in China.
On 5th September, the Prince Albert II of Monaco visited the Xibeicha Forest. Located in China’s northeastern Jilin province, the forest is part of a larger landscape in Huangnihe, where China’s wild tiger population has recently begun showing hopeful signs of recovery.
“I am delighted to support Amur tiger conservation projects and experience the progress of the conservation work personally. I am willing to have a further cooperation with China, and continue to support WWF’s conservation projects in China,” said H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Amur tigers were once found throughout northern China, the Russian Far East and the Korean peninsula. By the 1940s, however, hunting had driven them to the brink of extinction in this region. To reverse the decline, WWF has been working with the governments and local communities in China and Russia to protect wild tigers and their forest homes from poaching and other illegal activities.
Today, thanks to recovery efforts in this region, there are over 500 individual Amur tigers with the majority living in Russia. In 2014, a first photographic evidence of a breeding tiger family brought much hope, indicating that efforts are paying off as wild Amur tigers are now returning to breed in China.
China’s growing tiger conservation efforts is underlined by engaging local communities as important stakeholders. To ensure local communities benefit from tiger conservation, a tiger-friendly cooperative was jointly established by the Huangnihe Forestry Bureau and WWF.
As a critically important partner to WWF in China’s tiger conservation efforts, Huangnihe Nature Reserve now has over 100 camera traps, covering an area of close to 700 square kilometers. Conducted by a team of qualified rangers, camera trapping is key for monitoring the population of wild tigers and other wildlife. In addition, rangers work to remove snares set by poachers, and use SMART technology to patrol and monitor protected areas systematically.
The Amur tiger and leopard conservation in China has achieved steady progress, in large part due to close collaboration between WWF and our partners, including the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Northeast China Tiger and Leopard Park Administration, Jilin Forestry Department, Heilongjiang Forestry Department, and Longjiang Forest Industry, as well as universities and research institutions.
According to the monitoring data, the Amur tiger and leopard populations in China have been increasing in the past 10 years, and are believed to be expanding towards inland areas in northeast China.
The visit of Prince Albert II of Monaco has promoted cooperation and exchange between Monaco and China in Amur tiger and leopard conservation, laying a strong foundation for the future long-term cooperation among Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Jilin Forestry Department, and WWF.