The Amur tiger is presently threatened with extinction in the wild. Formerly found throughout southeast Siberia from Lake Baikal to the Sea of Japan, as well as northeast China and the Korean Peninsula, its range has shrunk to such an extent that the only remaining viable population is now found in Pnmorye and southern Khabarovsk Krais in the Russian Far East. The last census of tigers in this region, performed in 1986, estimated that 350 animals ranged between the two Krais, and may have some contact with a remnant population in Heilingjong and Jilan Provinces in northeast China. Although nobody knows how many tigers presently exist in this region, nearly all biologists agree that the Amur tiger population has decreased dramatically in the last 3 years. Therefore, immediate actions must be taken to insure that this species is not lost from the wild.
Due to the threatened status of the tiger, a national strategy for Amur tiger conservation is being developed in Russia, based on the recent decree by Chairman V. Chernomyrdin. A critical component of a national strategy will be the recommendations for habitat protection for Primorye and Khabarovsk Krais: what lands need to be protected, and how those lands should be protected to insure the survival of the Amur tiger. The Arnur Tiger Program, developed by the International Group for the Conservation of the Amur Tiger, has identified the need for a proposed network of protected territories, but so far there are no concrete proposals. The submits the following recommendations to be discussed, edited, and revised by the Russian specialists of the International Group for the Conservation of the Amur Tiger and representatives of the Krai and federal committees responsible for tiger conservation.
The goal of this habitat conservation plan is to protect all existing tiger habitat, i.e., no further loss of Amur tiger habitat should occur. Achievement of this goal does not mean that all other land uses must be halted.