Amur Tigers are the largest cats in the world. Well known for their power and strength, Amur tigers live solitary lives in the very harsh climate of the mountainous coniferous forests of Russian Far East, Eastern Manchurian mountain system and parts of North Korea. Fortunately, this far north the human population is lower than in any other tiger habitat; the ecosystem is complete and the forests are vast, allowing extensive natural roaming and hunting grounds.
By the 1940’s, hunting had all but annihilated the Amur Tiger population. There were only 40 tigers remaining in the wild. Russia instituted full protection for the tiger and by the 1980’s, there were about 500 individuals. After the Soviet Union collapsed, poaching increased, yet intensive international conservation efforts have kept the population stable at around 450 individuals. Conservation biologists put it simply. Wild tigers are dying. They are on the brink of extinction, despite millions of dollars spent to save one of the most iconic and beloved animals on Earth.
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