Rare Tiger Killed by Poachers in Siberia

News of another wild tiger killing has come on the eve of the international summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, to discuss an urgent strategy to save the last tigers in the wild.

A rare Siberian tiger was killed yesterday by poachers near Vladivostok, Russia, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), said in a news announcement today.

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NGS stock photo of Siberian tigers by Michael Nichols

The tiger was discovered by an IFAW anti-poaching patrol in the Khasan district of Primorye Province. This area of the Russian Far East, along the border with China, is home to the last 300 to 400 wild Amur tigers, the animal advocacy charity added. Amur tiger is another name for the Siberian tiger.

Suspected Poachers Arrested

According to IFAW, the Khasan rangers arrested four suspected poachers, who were intercepted with the dead tiger, described as a healthy, five-year-old male. “One of the hunters was wounded by the tiger and is hospitalized; the other three were turned over to police for interrogation. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of U.S.$20,000,” IFAW said.

“This crime is a wake up call. We can’t save the tigers unless we combat rampant poaching, which is the single greatest threat to the survival of this species.”

“This crime is a wake up call,” said Masha Vorontsova, Director, IFAW Russia. “We can’t save the tigers unless we combat rampant poaching, which is the single greatest threat to the survival of this species.”

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Governments of the 13 tiger range countries will convene next week in St. Petersburg to agree on a coordinated, global plan to save tigers from extinction. With the ambitious goal of doubling the number of wild tigers in the next 12 years, the strategy will focus on national plans and shared commitments to better conserve key tiger habitats and eradicate poaching, which is fueled by trade in tiger body parts and products, IFAW said.

“The summit is a last chance for tigers,” said Vorontsova. “We must make sure that talk translates into concrete action and effective, binding agreements that save tigers on the ground.”

The scope of the black market trade in tigers was highlighted last month when 25 suspected traffickers in tiger body parts were arrested in raids across six tiger range countries as part of a two-month operation coordinated by INTERPOL, IFAW said. “More than 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of tiger bone, including skeletons and skulls, were seized.”

IFAW works on the front lines of tiger protection to end all trade in tiger body parts and products, reduce consumer demand, provide anti-poaching training and capacity-building, and secure key tiger habitat.

Posted by David Braun from media material submitted by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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Spoils of a conservation war: In this undated photo, a leader of a Russian anti-poaching squad displays an impounded pelt in Siberia.

NGS stock photo by Michael Nichols

More About Tigers From Nat Geo News Watch

Summit to Save Last Wild Tigers Must Do More Than Growl

Tiger range countries meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the International Tiger Conservation Forum hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, have been urged by conservation activists to “act decisively now or face a future in which the wild tiger is extinct.”

A Thousand Tigers Dismembered for Skin-and-bones Trade

Parts of at least 1,069 tigers have been seized in tiger range countries over the past decade, according to an analysis of tiger seizures released today by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

America’s 5,000 Backyard Tigers a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

With more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than survive in the wild, the United States needs a centralized federal database to monitor the big cats, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says.

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Joseph Smith, Tiger Program Director for Panthera, a charity dedicated to restoration and conservation of the world’s 36 species of wild cats, answers questions about the challenges facing tigers.

A Last Stand for Tigers?

With the number of wild tigers at an all-time low, a study warns that unless conservation managers redouble funds and efforts to protect tigers in the few places they can still thrive, we may lose the world’s largest cat.

China and Russia Declare International Sanctuary for Siberian Tigers

Jilin province of China and neighboring Primorsky province in Russia have agreed to collaborate formally in working towards the first transboundary Amur tiger protected area.

World’s Largest Tiger Reserve Designated in Myanmar

A region the size of the U.S. state of Vermont has been earmarked by Myanmar as a sanctuary for the tiger, one of the most endangered animals on the planet. But can the poaching of the big cats and their prey be stopped?

World Bank Invests in Tiger’s Future

World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick unveiled Vanishing Icons–a new National Geographic exhibition of photographs of tigers, lions, and other big cats–at the bank’s Washington, D.C. headquarters.

Read more about the plight of tigers and other big cats and what concerned people across the world are doing to help them on the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative website.   

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Meet the Author
More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn