China to demarcate 9 privileged zones for Siberian tiger conservation

10:06, May 30, 2010      

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China will build nine zones in the northeastern provinces of Jilin and Heilongjiang for the conservation of Siberian tigers, according to the latest international meeting on habitat protection for the endangered species.

The nine zones will be Huichun-Wangqing-Dongning-Suiyang, Changbai Mountains, the southern area of Mount Zhangguangcai, Muleng, Huadian, the northern area of Mount Zhangguangcai, Baishan-Tonghua-Ji'an, Lushuihe-Dongjiang and Jingyu-Jiangyuan.

The areas are all near the border of China and Russia and between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and cover an area of 38,000 square kilometers.

In the areas there are vast forests and sufficient prey for Siberian tigers, according to experts.

Although they used to be widely distributed throughout northeastern China, wild Siberian tigers only number 20 or so in the region now due to fragmentation of forests and illegal hunting. But in the neighboring far east region of Russia, the population of wild Siberian tigers is 430 to 500.

The predators often cross the Sino-Russian border, experts say.

The nine nature protection zones will be places for the tigers to make homes and reproduce, according to experts from World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the State Forestry Administration.

Zhu Chunquan, managing director of WWF's representative office in Beijing, said that in 2022, the number of wild Siberian tigers in China is expected to increase to about 40.

Apart from the nine zones, Jilin has also established the Huichun Huangnihe and Wangqing nature reserves for Siberian tigers, according to Yu Changchun, official in charge of wildlife conservation at the provincial forestry authority.

Jilin has also exerted efforts to establish awareness of wildlife conservation among the local residents, Yu added.

Source: Xinhua


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