Research Article

Tigers and Leopards in Russia's Far East

David Prynn


Russian settlement of the Far East inevitably reduced numbers of Siberian tigers and leopards, whose magnificent skins were a major lure for the settlers. But in the 1880s tigers were numerous, and tracks often seen in the streets of Vladivostok; many were shot. Today there may be 200 or so, which is probably as many as at any time since 1914. Now fully protected, they appear to have adjusted to the timber mills and the secondary forest, and are often seen on roads and near gardens. Their main strongholds are two reserves, both likely to be enlarged. The leopard, however, is seriously endangered, and depends for survival on two reserves in the Ussuri region which are being combined to create one huge reserve 200 miles long.