Changbai Mountain



Sikhote Alin

Reserves For The Amur Subspecies

Changbai Mountain

Some reports have been made of Amur tiger sightings in the Mount Changbai Nature Reserve area. The greatest step towards tiger conservation in the reserve was five years ago when the Jilin Provincial Government imposed a hunting ban; this has resulted in a steady increase of large prey animals, particularly wild boar and roe deer. Chinese, Russian and American researchers conducted a survey two ago and from this they formed the opinion that less than 20 Amur tigers a still living in northeast China. Mount Changbai and the nearby Huangnihe Nature Reserve make up their main habitat.

Sadly, on Changbai Mountain much of the damage has already been done and this is a prime example of massive deforestation within China. Between 1870 and 1980 forest cover reduced from 14,185 square kilometres to only 573 square kilometres. On top of loss of habitat and obvious threats like poaching, Mount Changbai is a live volcano which is presently rated "dormant active with a potential eruption danger". The last eruption on this, China's largest volcano, was in 1903. For wildlife an eruption is one of the most serious natural disasters, and the best which can be said about Mount Changbai is it has never had a really disastrous blow out.

Most villages around the park still hold tight to ancient beliefs. Rocks still stand in the centre of many and these symbolize the tiger or mountain god. By worshipping at these shrines people feel safer from tiger attack when out hunting and this is one of the very few cases where an old superstition provides an element of protection for tigers from hunters and hounds. Shooting a tiger is forbidden. The shrines also contain rocks to protect from disasters like accidents when wood cutting. Pine torches and mountain grass incense are lit around them and the heart and liver of the first prey caught in the year are cooked and offered to the tiger god as a mark of respect.

Poachers have no such worries or superstitions. Bears, boars, lynxes, sika deer, sables and other animals and medicinal plants fall under state protection, but all suffer from lack of protection, finance, low incomes for local people and poor education. Though Mount Changbai is still an area of important bio-diversity, it is also in grave danger of being lost in the near future.

Amur Tiger Reserves - Changbai Mountain | Huangnihe | Lazovskiy | Sikhote Alin

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Photography With Thanks To Corel (Photo 1)
Denise McQuillen (Photo 3)
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