Changbai Mountain



Sikhote Alin

Reserves For The Amur Subspecies


Lazovskiy (formerly Sudzukhinskiy) Reserve is now considered one of the most important reserves in Russia. Once home to many tigers, numbers gradually reduced until by the mid-1930s there were none to be found in the area. 15 years were to pass before another Amur tiger was sighted and it took until the mid-1960s before an established and permanent population had once again developed.

The most recent survey of Lazovskiy zapovednik was carried out in early 1993; it located 22 cats (14 adults and eight juveniles). Another 10 tigers were found on the periphery of the reserve, but these would not be permanent residents and through leaving the reserve become prone to the effects of poaching, lack of prey, and logging. There are plans to enlarge the territory of this reserve to 310,000 ha.

Lazovskiy is also a valuable area for the conservation of the Amur goral, a type of goat-antelope. Both sexes carry a set of short, sharp, backwards-curving horns, with scent glands at the base. Their heavy winter coat means they're ideally designed for cold wintry areas. They spend most of their time high in the mountains among freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. With little food around they can survive on just snow-covered twigs and spend much of their time lying curled up on snowy outcrops which their brown woolly coat lends them the appearance of a rock. This also provides camouflage from predators like the tiger, leopard and lynx, who will attempt to attack goral if the opportunity arises. Fortunately for the goral, they are extremely agile and usually make an escape by taking to the nearest inaccessible rock ledges.

During the warmer parts of the year they'll come lower to graze on evergreen foliage and acorns. They'll also drink seawater or lick seaweed if this is available. It provides necessary minerals for their wellbeing.

Goral live in groups of 15 to 30 animals and females give birth to one or two kids each year. They retire to a cave for the birth and tend to use the same caves year after year as there are not that many sheltered areas to be found.

Not much is known about the goral and there are very, very few in captivity (only 5 zoos in the United States hold goral). The unfavourable conditions make studying this animal very difficult, but it is known that the goral's biggest predator, and the reason they are now endangered, is man. Warm fur, tasty meat, and use in Eastern folk medicines means this animal is hunted extensively. Blood, heart, and even embryos are all used in medicines which provide no benefit to the people who consume them. On top of this, logging, grazing of domestic stock and fires all threaten the reserve as a whole.

Another 57 species of mammal are located here including Sika deer, lynx, leopard, Manchurian deer, wild boar, Asiatic black bear, brown bear, otter, sable, musk deer, yellow-throated marten, and the squirrel. There are 18 fish species, 17 amphibians and 292 bird species.

60 of 1,300 plants growing in Lazovskiy zapovednik are considered to be endemic, 135 are valuable medicinal plants. The small Petrov Island, where the flora are most abundant is called a Natural Arboretum.

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

Origin | Project Tiger | Releasing Captive Tigers | The Tale Of Tara | Taking A CensusPost Mortems
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Photography With Thanks To Corel (Photo 1)
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