Siberian tigers and Amur leopards live in parts of Russia, China, and North Korea.
Over the last 100 years, Siberian tigers and Amur leopards live in parts of Russia, China, and North Korea. Over the last 100 years, logging and poaching have drastically reduced populations. There is an estimated less than 500 Siberian tigers left in the wild and an estimated less than 30 Amur leopards, making the leopard one of the most endangered cats. While Amur leopards aren’t keystone species like the Siberian tiger, if it were to go extinct the environment it lives in will suffer without its existence. Current reserves are not enough to protect these animals so China’s government has moved aggressively to help. The plan to build this national park was put in place in 2013 and since then China’s government has banned logging in Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces and canceled a highway project that would have gone directly through and destroyed parts of the big cat’s territory. The new park will lie on the boarder of Russia and North Korea and will link together several existing parks and reserves and will cover 5,600 square miles, making it 60% bigger than Yellowstone.
Creating a large park like this faces the same obstacles in China as anywhere else. Their government has to make sure the parks will not undermine their economics. Locals who made their living by hunting and logging will need help finding alternative livelihoods. In the area where the new park is being built alone, conservation groups are turning 30,000 forest workers, including loggers, hunters, and poachers, into park rangers and conservation workers. The park lies on the boarder of Russia and North Korea and will link together several existing parks and reserves.
Park supporters hope these connected reserves will initiate international cooperation on perserving big cats and wildlife alike. This park will be one of many aggressive initiative China will be taking in efforts to save its endangered wildlife.