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Hebblewhite M.,University of Montana | Miquelle D.G.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Robinson H.,Panthera | Pikunov D.G.,Russian Academy of Sciences | And 9 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

Wild tiger numbers continue to decline despite decades of conservation action. Identification, conservation and restoration of tiger habitat will be a key component of recovering tiger numbers across Asia. To identify suitable habitat for tigers in the Russian Far East, we adopted a niche-based tiger habitat modeling approach, including biotic interactions with ungulate prey species, human activities and environmental variables to identify mechanisms driving selection and distribution of tiger habitat. We conducted >28,000km of winter snow tracking surveys in 2004/2005 over 266,000km2 of potential tiger habitat in 970 sampling units (~171km2) to record the presence of tracks of tigers and their ungulate prey. We adopted a used-unused design to estimate Resource Selection Probability Functions (RSPF) for tigers, red deer, roe deer, sika deer, wild boar, musk deer and moose. Tiger habitat was best predicted by a niche-based RSPF model based on biotic interactions with red deer, sika deer and wild boar, as well as avoidance of areas of high human activity and road density. We identified 155,000km2 of occupied tiger habitat in the RFE in 17 main habitat patches. Degradation of tiger habitat was most extreme in the southern areas of the Russian Far East, where at least 42% of potential historic tiger habitat has been destroyed. To improve and restore tiger habitat, aggressive conservation efforts to reduce human impacts and increase ungulate densities, tiger reproduction and adult survival will be needed across all tiger habitat identified by our tiger habitat model. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Goncharuk M.S.,Lazovskii State Nature Reserve | Kerley L.L.,Lazovskii State Nature Reserve | Naidenko S.V.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology | Rozhnov V.V.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology
Biology Bulletin | Year: 2012

The prevalence of infectious diseases in wild and feral carnivores is poorly known in Primorsky Krai, where rare species such as the Amur tiger and the Far East leopard roam. In this study we evaluated the prevalence of seropositivity in feral (cats, dogs) and wild (raccoon dog, badger, American mink, Far Eastern wild cat) carnivores to various pathogens: distemper virus, parvovirus, feline immunodeficiency and feline leukemia virus, feline coronavirus, Toxoplasma gondii, Mycoplasma sp., and Chlamydia sp. It was shown that seropositivity occurred significantly more frequent in feral animals than in wild ones. The highest percentage of seropositive animals was observed in feral dogs. It is these diseases that can be dangerous for the Amur tiger and the Far East leopard, thus affecting their populations. © 2012 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

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