Although nobody knows how many tigers presently exist in this region, nearly all biologists agree that the Amur tiger population has decreased dramatically in the last 3 years. Therefore, immediate actions must be taken to insure that this species is not lost from the wild.Due to the threatened status of the tiger, a national strategy for Amur tiger conservation is being developed in Russia, based on the recent decree by Chairman V. Chernomyrdin. A critical component of a national strategy will be the recommendations for habitat protection for Primorye and Khabarovsk Krais:
what lands need to be protected, and how those lands should be protected to insure the survival of the Amur tiger. The Arnur Tiger Program, developed by the International Group for the Conservation of the Amur Tiger, has identified the need for a proposed network of protected territories, but so far there are no concrete proposals. The submits the following recommendations to be discussed, edited, and revised by the Russian specialists of the International Group for the Conservation of the Amur Tiger and representatives of the Krai and federal committees responsible for tiger conservation.
The goal of this habitat conservation plan is to protect all existing tiger habitat, i.e., no further loss of Amur tiger habitat should occur. Achievement of this goal does not mean that all other land uses must be halted. Harvest of natural resources is possible without destruction of tiger habitat, if it is done carefully, and with safeguards.
To achieve this goal of no future habitat loss, we propose that an effective habitat protection plan for Amur tigers consists of three key components. First, there must be a core area that consists of a network of protected areas. This core network acts to insure that the metapopulation of tigers will not be fragmented, provides for a minimum population of tigers, and provides a protected "reservoir" out of which tigers can emigrate to areas where tigers have been eliminated.
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