Endangered: Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)
Tigers are called an umbrella species.
This means that by protecting them, we also ensure the survival of other valuable species and preserve their natural habitats. These wild cats naturally regulate the populations of the animals they feed on, thus ensuring the preservation of biodiversity and the sustainable functioning of the environment.
In the last century, we have lost as much as 95% of wild tigers.
The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is the largest subspecies of the Asian tiger, a predatory mammal from the feline family.
It inhabits mountainous, dense coniferous and mixed forests near rivers and streams on the eastern outskirts of Russia, and some occur on the Russian-Chinese border, in the lower reaches of the Amur River.
Because this tiger lives in areas where it is exposed to temperatures below -40 ° C, it is the only tiger to have a five-centimeter layer of fat in the groin and belly.
It hunts large mammals, mainly wild boar and deer, and also attacks domestic cattle. Pregnancy lasts three and a half months, 2–3 young are born. Lives about 15 years.
As a result of warfare in the areas occupied by the Siberian tiger, as well as hunting — including for sport — its population decreased to about 20–30 individuals in the 1940s. In 1947, the authorities of the former USSR issued a complete ban on hunting Siberian tigers.
The population slowly began to recover, so that in the 1980s it was estimated at about 250 individuals. However, illegal logging and poaching, the collapse of the USSR again led to a decline in the Siberian tiger population.
In 1992, The Siberian Tiger Project was established, under which the endangered species was placed under strict protection. Even special anti-poaching patrols have been introduced.
Thanks to these actions, the number of Siberian tigers begins to increase.
Despite this, this species is still on the verge of extinction.
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