Monday's Global Tiger Day was marked with the opening day of an international workshop on the transboundary conservation of tigers and other endangered species in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The workshop will also focus on strategy for combating illegal wildlife trade, in an effort to boost global population recovery among endangered species.
Conservation of tigers, and the crackdown on both illegal trade and poaching, is part of the socioeconomic development in multiple countries. This needs joint international efforts and mutual awareness of the ecological significance of the endeavor, said Yin Hong, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration of China.
The population of tigers in China has been increasing in recent years thanks to the construction of several ecological programs.
China has established more than 30 natural reserves and more than 70 local protection stations since 1988.
However, there are fewer than 20 Siberian tigers living in the forests in Northeast China's Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces. The subspecies had been considered as the most promising one to fully recover but the global population is fewer than 500.
Media reports showed that at least seven wild Siberian tigers had been found dead in the last 20 years and the species is facing serious food shortage, pervasive human traps and diminishing habitats.
"The best way to protect them is to set up a reserve with rich vegetation and wildlife. The Wandashan Mountains in Heilongjiang Province fits the requirement and is a transboundary ecological corridor with Russia," said Ma Jianzhang, a senior expert on wildlife protection.
Yin noted that economic development, supervision ability and law enforcement effectiveness vary across the different countries that natively have these endangered animals. He called for international attention and aid for those countries with weaker financial support and protection measures.