From @thewcs: Ahead of #InternationalTigerDay, a group of conservationists may have already identified the next global hotspot for wild tigers.
Northeast China now houses 55 Amur tigers, they say, and could support more than 300.
China has made considerable progress in recent years to restore these iconic big cats.
To reach 300-plus tigers, large prey species, such as red deer and wild boar, need to be restored. There also must be extensive land-use planning, improved habitat connectivity, reduced negative human impacts, and extensive international cooperation.
As recently as the 1930s, up to 500 Amur tigers roamed there. By 2000, due to the loss of habitat and prey combined with poaching, there were no more than 12–16 along the border with Russia.
Since then, the Natural Forest Protection Project has halted logging over much of the region, which has led to the departure of forest workers. The creation of nature reserves, improved anti-poaching efforts, and the use of compensation to prevent human-tiger conflicts from turning deadly, have further helped to ease the pressures.
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