Cat News for cat conservation

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Mon Aug 14 12:35:38 EST 1995


Radio-Collared Tiger Poached in Russia

Excerpt from the most recent issue of Cat News, the newsletter of the
IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group

     The decomposed remains of a Siberian tiger radio-collared for
research purposes have been found near a river south of Vladivostok Bay,
according to a report from the U.S.-based Hornocker Wildlife Research
Institute (HWRI).  Only the skin had been taken, while the bones, which
nowadays have high value in Chinese and Korean medicine markets, were
left.  Dimitry Pikunov, the research team's Russian biologist, suggested
that the poacher was not experienced and knowledgeable.
     The tiger, given the reference 149, was captured and radio-collared
on April 19 1994 when eight or nine months old.  Radio locations of his
movements were recorded peiodically through last summer and autumn.  Later
locations came from just one spot, which led to the search and finding of
the remains.
     Maurice Hornocker, leader of the research project, declared it a
great loss.  "Every one of these animals is important to the survival of
this species, and 149 was supplying information that could help to save
the rest."
     This is the second radio-collared tiger lost to poachers.  In 1992 a
tigress was poached near the coastal town of Terney.  She left four small
cubs, two of which survived and were flown to Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha,
     Since the HWRI project started three years ago, 12 tigers have been
captured, radio-collared, and released back into the wild.  Russian and
American biologists track the animals daily by picking up beeps from the
radio collars.  Two leopards and seven bears have also been
radio-collared.  Director Howard Quigley said that when the project is
completed, there will be a dynamic picture of how the big carnivores
interact, and how they can live with people in the future.

Other recent Cat News items:

"Killed for a Cure":  the Tiger Bone Trade
Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Tiger Workshop
A Bomb Explodes in the Battle Against Tiger Poachers
Tackling Snow Leopard Predation Problems in Nepal
California Mountain Lion "Hot Spot" Closed
Leopard Terrorizes Himalayan Villages in India
The Strange Case of Two of Congo's Last Lions
Genetic Restoration of Florida Panther Begins with an Escape
Proposed Second Home for Asiatic Lions
Cheetahs Help Air Safety
Fishing Cat in Peril in Java

The Cat Specialist Group is one of over 100 similar scientific species
survival organizations organized under the international umbrella of the
Species Survival Commission of IUCN - the World Conservation Union.  While
other specialist groups focus on pelicans, palms, parrots or polar bears
(to name a few), we are exclusively concerned with the world's 36 species
of wild cat.  The wild cats range in size from the lion and the tiger to
the tiny and little-known black-footed cat of southern Africa,
rusty-spotted cat from the Deccan Plateau of India, and the kodkod from
the temperate rainforests of Patagonia. 

The Cat Specialist Group consists of over 160 experts from 40 countries
who are at the forefront of the effort to study and to save felid
biodiversity.  Our members have pioneered radio telemetry studies of snow
leopards, cheetahs, tigers, mountain lions, and others, providing the
first intimate look into their natural lives.  They have set up "camera
photo-traps" to bring back the first wild photos of such rare and
mysterious species as the marbled cat (whose long tail graces the cover of
the Spring 1995 issue of Cat News).  They oversee under-funded
anti-poaching ranger squads in Southeast Asia and in Russia to try to
protect tigers from poachers.  They work on management plans to try to
resolve the inevitable conflicts that take place when big cats are
confined to tiny islands of "protected" habitat within a sea of settlement
and development. 

Cat News, the bi-annual newsletter of the Cat Specialist Group, put
together by the Group's chairman and former journalist Peter Jackson in
Switzerland, is the only place you'll find the latest news on what's
really happening to the wild cats all over the world.  A few issues of Cat
News is guaranteed to make you an instant cat expert, for this kind of
information hardly ever gets reported in the mass media.

Cat News is now available for an annual donation to the Cat Action
Treasury of US$50.  If you're thinking that this may seem kind of
expensive for only two issues, you should know that 1) Cat News is a
unique information source for wild cat conservation available nowhere
else, and usually runs to about 25 pages per issue; and 2) most of the
money will go toward supporting priority Cat Specialist Group field
projects.  Projects include:  Response of a felid community to logging of
a Tropical Asian rainforest; Global survey of methods and techniques to
minimize the impact of livestock losses to cats; Pan-African lion survey;
Understanding the market for tiger bone medicines; Conservation of the
Asiatic cheetah in Iran; Leopard ecology and density in Tropical African
rainforest; Evaluation of the status of the snow leopard in Russia and the
Central Asian republics; Ecology of jaguars and other carnivores in the
Brazilian cerrado; Natural history and distribution of the Geoffroy's cat
and pampas cat in Argentinian grasslands; Status of the cheetah, sand cat
and manul in Baluchistan.  There are over 100 CSG priority projects, and
the price tag runs to millions of dollars.  These projects are partially
funded by governments, universities, foundations and wildlife groups, but
the Cat Specialist Group wants to do more.  With your help we can avoid
the costly bureaucracy and get the money directly to the scientific
experts in the field, so that real progress can be made.

Please help us to improve the conservation of the wild cats - and learn
quite a bit in the process!  To subscribe to Cat News, send your check or
money order for US$ 50 via snail mail to:

The Cat Action Treasury, 233-2 Hope Street, Mountain View, CA  94041.

In return for your tax-deductible donation, you will receive the two 1995
issues of Cat News, more information about the Cat Specialist Group and
its Cat Action Treasury, and a bibliography of books written by our
members available from your local library or bookstore.

We look forward to welcoming you into the wild cat cognoscenti!

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