Winter patrols protect wild Siberian tiger, Amur leopard populations in NE China
CHANGCHUN, March 4 (Xinhua) -- The forestry department in northeast China's Jilin Province said rangers have braved freezing temperatures during a winter patrol of snow-capped mountains and forests to protect and study wild Siberian tigers and Amur leopards.
The department said Sunday that the rangers have monitored 27 wild Siberian tigers and 42 Amur leopards during the patrol of 4,050 square km of forest areas, which includes six reserves for the endangered species.
More than 3,000 individual trips have been recorded as part of the patrol since November, during which rangers removed 2,033 items of poaching equipment, including traps and nets, and cleared poisonous bait, which all posed harm to the wild predators.
Ranger Chu Xingwen said the patrols were all made on foot. They recorded video and collected the animals' foot prints as well as blood, hair, and faeces samples.
The forestry department said during winter, anti-poaching rangers checked 860 vehicles and 80 shops, and 12 wild animal breeding farms were shut down. More than 10,000 brochures were distributed to improve public awareness of the protection of the endangered species.
The launch of two organizations -- the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park Administration and the park's natural resources and assets management bureau -- in August last year has greatly beefed up the protection efforts.
The organizations will undertake the construction of the park which is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The national park will cover more than 1.46 million hectares. About 71 percent of the area is in Jilin and the rest in the adjacent Heilongjiang Province.