At least 69 endangered tigers, leopards found in NE China
( Xinhua )
At least 27 wild Siberian tigers and 42 Amur leopards were living in the east part of Northeast China's Jilin province, near the China-Russia border, during the period from 2012 to 2014, researchers announced on August 19.
This is the first time that the population of the two endangered species in China has been determined in recent years, said Dr. Feng Limin of the Cat Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission, International Union for Conservation of Nature.
After ten years of trying, China has a monitoring network for the two species covering more than 20,000 square km, said Feng, a wildlife biologist at Beijing Normal University.
Researchers found that at least 27 wild Siberian tigers and 42 Amur leopards were lived mainly in Hunchun, Jilin and its surrounding areas. Over 1,200 infrared cameras are in use and investigators have collected footprints and genetic information.
The findings exceed previous estimates, Feng said. Surveys in the early 21th century put the population of Amur leopard at between 25 and 35 in the whole world. The findings reflect remarkable progress in protection of endangered species, Feng said.
The populations are only could be found in a limited area around China-Russia border, Feng said, adding that the expansion of their habitats will help their numbers increase.
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur or Manchurian tigers, mainly live in east Russia, northeast China and northern parts of the Korean Peninsula.About 500 Siberian tigers are believed to survive in the wild. The Amur leopard is believed to be the world's most endangered feline.