Removing deadly snares, a threat to tigers and their prey
Over three months, 100 separate patrols took to the forests in Hunchun, China’s North East, a region bordering Russia’s Far East. They logged more than 400 hours and covered more than 800 square kilometers.
A total of 2,782 deadly snares were removed by these patrols, sponsored by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Hunchun Wildlife Conservation Association.
On average, there were 3.37 snares discovered per square km. The tally included 2577 large and 94 small metal wire snares, 6 traps, 104 bird traps and 1 Zhuojiao--a crudely-made iron leg hold trap.
Some had already claimed victims; dead bodies of smaller animals that are tigers prey or traces of blood from severe injury were discovered at 30 snare sites.
Many poachers use snares and traps because they are cheap and easy to handle. The team caught two such perpetrators and sent them to the local Forestry Police to face punishment.
As home to both Siberian Tigers and Siberian Leopards, Hunchun is the key to the recovery of the population of these two endangered big cats in the wild. Not only is the prey of Siberian tigers and leopards threatened, but these big cats are in danger themselves.
The patrols included a total of 16 people, including four staff from Hunchun Wildlife Conservation Association, two from Hunchun Forestry Bureau, and 10 volunteers.
For more information about IFAW efforts to protect the last of the world's wild tigers, visit our campaign page.