The population of the Amur tiger is increasing. We are fortunate to have some new figures. They are reported by the Daily Telegraph newspaper online (2nd Dec. 2017). I would trust these figures, as they come direct from Russian conservationists, over the figures provided by the IUCN Red List (the usual source). The Red List authors tends to be behind the curve. Their data is not updated quickly enough in my opinion.
That said, I’m not sure that we can be 100% confident in the figures provided by Russian conservationists. Conservationists like to produce optimistic estimates and at the end of the day when calculating tiger populations you are estimating the figure although it is done carefully with camera traps and other methods such as track surveys in the snow. Also, with reluctance, one has to be cautious with Russian information when it is associated with promoting Russia.
With these caveats in mind, we are told that in 2015, after a survey of 60,000 mi.² of the Amur tiger habitat, the number has risen to 540 in the wild. We are also told that this includes around 100 cubs.
In 1995 we are told that there were between 332 to 371 adult Amur tigers. The Red List tells us that the population fell to as low as 20 to 30 in the 1930s. As at 2017 they say the population is estimated at 360 tigers but this is based upon a comprehensive 2005 population census. You can see, therefore, that their figures are substantially lower than the Russian conservationist’s figures and perhaps out of date.
Ninety-five percent of Amur tigers live in the boreal wilderness of the ‘taiga’. This sprawls hundreds of miles from the North Korean border towards the Arctic. There is a small population in China but this fragment of the overall population is dependent on Amur tigers travelling across the border from Russia.
Amur tigers are also called Siberian tigers. They can be up to 10 feet long and are generally larger and heavier than Bengal tigers and the other subspecies of tiger living in Asia.
Like their Asian cousins, Amur tigers are the target of poachers because their body parts supply the bogus medicine market in countries such as China. One myth is that if you poke a tiger whisker into a decaying tooth it stops it aching. And heaven knows what a cooked tiger penis can do for your health!