BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in:  World: Europe
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Monday, 18 February, 2002, 12:24 GMT
Snows threaten Siberia's big cats
Tiger in snow AP
The tigers' prey could be wiped out by the deep snow
Fears are growing for the survival of endangered leopards and tigers in Russia's Far East, as freak weather conditions threaten them with starvation.

Heavy snowfalls in the Primorski region could all but wipe-out the deer and boar which the Amur tiger and Far Eastern leopard feed on.

Only about 350 Siberian tigers and 40 Siberian leopards still exist in the world - all of them in the region.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been taking emergency measures to try to save the Sika deer, Roe deer and wild boars affected by the snows.

Poacher danger

Snow in the region is up to 1.5 metres deep. The deer already find it difficult to find food in the forest with snow-levels of 40 centimetres.

Up to 100,000 animals have been left without food.

WWF predicts that between 80% and 90% of the deer and boar in the south-west of the region could die.

Reports also say that the animals, weakened by hunger, have become easy prey for poachers.

Environmentalists have cleared 150 kilometres of road to bring in several tonnes of food into the region and have been cutting tree branches to provide grazing.

See also:

12 Sep 01 | Sci/Tech
New hope for Siberia's big cats
23 Apr 01 | Media reports
New threat to Siberian tiger
10 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
Elderly tiger in shock pregnancy
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories