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A Released Sika Deer Suspected to be Preyed on by an Amur Tiger
A Milestone for the WWF Amur Tiger Prey Recovery Project
Author:WWF CopyFrom:本站原创 Hits:3240 UpdateTime:2013/4/29 22:19:29

A Milestone for the WWF Amur Tiger Prey Recovery Project


April 26, Wangqing of Jilin province


Recently a killed sika deer has drawn great attention from the Wangqing nature reserve and WWF staff at Lanjia forest farm, located at the eastern foot of Changbai Mountain. It is supposed that the murderer is likely to be an Amur tiger or Amur leopard.


The “victim” was discovered by Mu Yanjun, a ranger of Lanjia forest farm. On April 26, he detected a flock of crows haunting in the air above the No. 35 management-protection station while on his duty. When he got there, a dead female sika deer came into view. Her throat was bitten off and no obvious injury was found on other parts of her body. Judging from the wound, it was supposed to by attacked by a big cata Amur tiger or Amur leopard.


The deadly wound in the sika deer’s throat proves the predator to be a big cat.

(Photographed by Sun Quan)


The staff of Wangqing nature reserve contacted WWF Northeast China office. Through technical identification, it is confirmed that the time of death was within 24 hours. Behind her ear implanted a chip (the serial number is 900 111880000161), which shows she was one of the sika deer released last year.



Shi Quanhua is scaning the implanted chip.

(Photographed by Sun Quan)


On July 29 of 2010, WWF and Wangqing nature reserve released over 30 captive red/sika deer, aiming to restore the local prey-base of Amur tigers in a short time and attract Amur tigers to settle down at Wangqing District. 


According to Shi Quanhua, a WWF Amur Tiger Programme Officer, this sika deer’s stomach was ripped open yet it remained barely untouched, which indicated that the “murderer” was disturbed when it was getting ready to enjoy the big meal. By far, a camera trap has been set up nearby so that if the “murderer” comes back to enjoy its feast, its images will be captured and its identity will be figured out.


Meanwhile, a large number of feces, hairs and constant beds were found on the killing site. It proves the site to be a place frequented by a herd of sika deer, which indirectly demonstrates that the released sika deer of last year have gone through the winter safely. Shi Quanhua says, “although there’s quite heavy snow this winter, no released deer has died of coldness, hunger or illness, except for those killed by predators.”


This was not the first preying scene involving big cats. Two months ago, a scene of three or four sika deer being preyed on was discovered at a kilometer away from this one. “Again, it proves that in Wangqing’s forests do live big cats like tigers or leopards and that the Wangqing Forestry Bureau has yielded impressive results at the demonstration project of the wild Amur tiger and leopard habitat ecosystem.”


Since last winter, the information about wild Amur tigers/leopards recorded by WWF and the Wangqing Forestry Bureau during patrolling and monitoring has increased significantly. “At Lanjia forest farm alone, we have captured photographs and videos over 20 times, which is three times more than those of the last three years. This indicates that the prey recovery project has made a preliminary progress and it has been proved to be very important for the survival and settlement of Amur leopards in Wangqing,” says Wang Fuyou, director of the conservation division of the Wangqing Forestry Bureau.


 “Though we have achieved preliminary success (in Wangqing), the density of sika deer and red deer in this district is still very low. Through the prey recovery project, WWF aims to establish a self-recovery red deer and sika deer population there, so as to provide sufficient food for wild Amur tigers and leopards and realize their settlement and reproduction (in this district),” observes Zhu Jiang, head of WWF Northeast China Office.


Background Information:


Prey for China’s endangered wild Amur tigers released on Global Tiger Day


Zeng Ming, Head of Press, WWF China, +86 10 6511 6298, mzeng@wwfchina.org




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