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Nations unite to help tigers

Updated: 2013-07-30 02:14
By Yang Yao in Kunming ( China Daily)

China, Russia and India make efforts to save endangered Siberian cat

China is making a big push to protect tigers and recently finalized two separate agreements with Russia and India to beef up conservation efforts for the big cats and other endangered species.

Nations unite to help tigers

A zookeeper at Weifang Jinbaole Park plays with three baby tigers in Weifang, Shandong province, on Monday. China and other countries have been making a greater effort to protect tigers and other endangered species, including plans to build ecological corridors and combat illegal wildlife trade. [Zhang Chi / for China Daily]

At an ongoing conference in Kunming, China made good on its call for more cross-border cooperation, announcing a deal with Russia on Sunday to build two ecological corridors on their shared border to save the Siberian tigers'habitat.

The ecological corridors will allow wild Siberian tigers to migrate freely without disturbance from humans.

Siberian tigers, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, were on the edge of extinction in the 1960s, but their numbers have recovered. Of the roughly 450 Siberian tigers today, around 20 live in China along its border with Russia, said Wang Weisheng, division director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Nature Reserve Management under the State Forestry Administration.

Wang said authorities are now working out the details of building the corridors, including reforestation of farmland.

Irina Borisovna Fominykh, deputy director of the International Cooperation Department of Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources, said there are around 400 to 450 in Russia.

Russia plans to increase the number to 700 by 2022, she said.

China also reached an agreement with India at the Kunming meeting to work on protecting tiger habitats and combat illegal wildlife trade.

The two nations will cooperate by exchanging their experiences and information about protecting tigers and their habitats.

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