AMUR TIGER

It is one of global fauna’s rare representatives. The tiger is in the Red Lists of the International Union for the Conservation of the Nature (IUCN) and Russia. At the present time the only viable population of Amur tiger is in Sikhote Alin.

The animal has thick and long winter fur of comparatively light color. The Amur tiger dwells in mountain regions covered with broad-leaved and cedar-broad-leaved forests. Habitats of most tiger populations are situated in basins of lower and middle courses of mountain rivers at the altitude of 400-700 meters. Some individual animals rarely travel to high-altitude areas and only during snowless and low-snow periods.

Environmental conditions of tigers’ habitats in Sikhote Alin are extremely severe. During winter the temperature sometimes falls to -40о С, and rises to +35-37о С in summer. Most of habitats are covered with 30-60 cm of snow in the second half of the winter. But low temperatures do not affect the living activity of the tiger.

It arranges its temporary bed-site right in the snow where it can stay at for several hours in a row. For the long-term rest the animals prefer other refuges – rock ledges and hollows under fallen trees. When moving in a snowy conditions tigers use boars’ paths, hauling roads, hunters’ paths and tracks of snowmobiles.

The tigers are solitary animals. The exception is the female species accompanied by the brood of tiger cubs and animals during breeding period. Individual habitat areas of adult species do not intersect each other or intersect only partially (for the male species). Individual areas for several female species may be situated inside the habitat of an adult male tiger.

The typical food is boar and Far Eastern red deer, sika deer (in south-western areas of Primorye and Lazovsky reserve).

The coupling usually takes place in the second half of winter; the offspring appears in April-June. The gestation period lasts 95–107 days averaging 103 days. There are 1-4 cubs in a brood, usually 2-3. The average number of cubs varies from 1.5 to 2.4. The most of the female species first bring forth at the age of 3-4 years.

Tiger cubs separate from mother at the second year of life. Therefore, tigresses are capable to bring forth every two years, and in case of cubs’ death, at the same year. The mortality rate among baby tigers is very high – approximately 50 percent.