Results of Spring 2013 Camera-trap Survey in Jilin province
During spring 2013, WCS China has monitoring of the spatial distribution of Amur tigers and leopards in the key habitat of the Jilin Hunchun Amur Tiger National Nature Reserve. Our team has used camera traps for two months, covering an area of 379.16km2 with a density of one camera every 25km2. Additionally, WCS has continued conducting long-term monitoring to gather real and effective data to estimate dispersal dynamics of tigers and leopards, such as their movement routines across the Sino-Russian border.
Results indicated that 5 tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) and 1 leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) are likely to reside in the study area. Human disturbance and relative abundances of a number of other animals have been recorded, including leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurua), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), badger (Meles meles), yellow-throat marten (Martes flavigula), Siberian weasel (Mustela sibirica), sika deer (Cervus nippon), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and Siberian hare (Lepus brachyurus). The findings show that under intense disturbance of human activities, badgers are widespread, and roe deer and wild boar, considered as prey by tigers and leopards, are in relatively high abundance.
The Amur tiger and leopard are two of the most endangered big cats in northeast Asia, and even in the whole world. To date, there are around 50 leopards and 350 tigers left surviving in Far East Russia, but no more than 10 leopards and 20 tigers in northeast China. Jilin Hunchun Amur Tiger National Nature Reserve, established along the Sino-Russian border, plays a crucial role in facilitating the dispersal of tigers from Russia to China, given that the tiger population in Russia has already reached saturation levels and China has a potentially suitable habitat.
Intensive camera-trap monitoring is a long term project conducted by:
1) The Forestry Bureau of Jilin Province, who began a pilot project in April 2012 with the support from WCS and WWF in Jilin Hunchun Amur Tiger National Nature Reserve and Jilin Wangqing National Nature Reserve;
2) The Forestry Bureau of Jilin Province, who drafted in December 2012 a detailed Implementation Plan of Camera-trap Monitoring to Amur Tigers and Leopards in Changbai Mountains of Jilin Province from 2013 to 2016;
3) From April to June in 2013 Hunchun and Wangqing nature reserves, including the area between the two have conducted camera-trapping monitoring. Monitoring units in Hunchun-Wangqing area have been monitored in collaboration with NGOs, universities, institutes, reserves and forestry bureaus. Nearly all the key tiger and leopard habitats in Changbai Mountains in Jilin province are required to conduct camera-trapping monitoring,