Heavy snowfall Russia In the Far East, Amur tigers, already critically endangered, are threatened.
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Unusually deep snow makes it difficult for tigers and other wild animals such as deer and wild boar to forage, warns Sunday World Wide Fund for Nature (PDF).
According to the international nature conservation organization, the “snow hell” is life-threatening.
Winter At the beginning of the season, the lower areas have a snowpack of 50 to 80 centimeters deep, while in the mountains the thickness of the snowpack exceeds one meter. Many animals cannot break through the thick blanket of snow.
“Poachers have already taken advantage of the emergency and went on illegal hunting,” says the PDF Germany Bürosprecher Marcus Radada.
He also expressed concern that animal-human conflict situations would increase as tigers and other wildlife might approach populated areas in search of food.
Locals have already noticed that tigers have become more active. Teams of experts are monitoring the situation in Khabarovsk Krai and the Jewish Autonomous Okrug, where the situation is most dangerous for tigers.
The PDF estimates that a tiger should eat around ten kilograms of meat a day.
Amur tigers are endangered animals that are specially protected. Their number in Russia is estimated at 540. They live mainly in the Amur region in the Russian Far East.
Poachers can face up to four years in prison and heavy fines for illegally hunting the Amur tiger.