From the beginning of February to April 2022, in Primorsky Territory, almost 100 tons of bulk feed and tons of grass were distributed in the “taiga canteens” for wild ungulates. They feed, among other things, so that the Red Book tigers have something to eat and the hungry predators have less reason to go out to humans. Loose feed was processed at the feed store before “feeding” to prevent the spread of African swine fever and other epizootics.
The basis of the Amur tiger diet consists of wild ungulates. In winter and early spring, in cases of hard bark formation and heavy snowfall, which are not uncommon for Primorsky Krai at this time of year, it becomes particularly difficult for them to find their natural food in the forest. Therefore, by helping the ungulates, humans are helping the tiger.
In addition, maintaining and increasing the number of ungulates due to feeding directly affects the number of conflict situations between a predator and an individual: the more food a predator has in the forest, the less temptation it has to go to home settlements. and livestock.
In 2022, for winter-spring feeding, the Amur Tiger Center bought 100 tonnes of bulk feed: corn and soybeans, as well as almost 100 tonnes of haylage – canned green grass and cereal, preserved in airtight film, which allows you to save up to 50-55%.
The Center clarifies that in the context of the African swine fever epidemic, all feed was purchased only from reputable suppliers with a complete package of phytosanitary certificates. In addition, before being sent to the “taiga canteens”, part of the bulk food was thermally disinfected (extruded) in the feed laboratory, which opened at the Primorsky Okhotnadzor base in Ussuriysk in September 2021.
“Extruded feed processing not only disinfected, but also increased the digestibility of animal feed by almost 100%, 60% more than conventional whole grain cereals. So, with the opening of the feed store, we bought the same amount of feed as ever, but in fact the animals received almost double, – comments Sergey Aramilev, General Manager of the Amur Tiger Center. – And this year, in those areas of the region where due to CFS cases the number of wild boars is at an extremely low level, we used straw, which is loved by red deer, spots and deer. We hope that our help was useful for the breeding stock, and this will lead to better childbirth and the appearance of young animals. By the end of May, the animals should have already begun to give birth to offspring. Unfortunately, there is still snow in the northern areas of the area and there are cases of ungulates. “These are inaccessible places and it is difficult to provide assistance there.”
Feeding activities take place in the territory of regional stocks, fixed and public hunting grounds. We note in particular that feed can not be used to facilitate hunting, therefore, in the territory of hunting areas, the bandage is carried out only at the end of the hunting season.
KGBU officials from the Directorate for the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas are responsible for paving the shelters. Specially protected natural areas of regional importance in the Primorsky Territory, where feeding activities took place: Poltava, Sredneussuriysky, Berezovy, Black Rocks, Taiga, Vasilkovsky, Komissarovsky, Quiet and Khasansky Nature Park.
On the territory of public hunting grounds, employees of the Department of Wildlife Protection and Specially Protected Natural Areas of the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife Protection of the Primorsky Territory. Feeding in fixed hunting grounds is carried out by hunting users.
The Amur Tiger Center distributes food only to responsible toy users – those who regularly carry out craft activities on their territory and are tolerant of a large rare predator. The transfer of feed is possible only after the establishment of a committee under the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife Protection of the Primorsky Territory, which evaluates the reliability of the application of the hunting user and his loyal attitude towards the predator of the Red Book.
“The use of extruded bulk feed and grass in the territory of peripheral specially protected natural areas has allowed us, firstly, to intensify our work to prevent the spread of African swine fever and, secondly, to provide even more assistance to animals than before. thanks to the increased digestibility, – says the director of the KGBU “Directorate for the Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas” Sergei Moskalets. – In February-March in the northern regions of the region the depth of snow reached one and a half meters and it was very important to lay food to support the wild boar, deer, roe deer and wapiti. “We have also increased security in these areas so that there are even fewer animal nuisances.”
Remember that almost 80% of the Amur tiger’s range falls on public and fixed hunting grounds. The tolerant attitude towards the tiger on the part of the hunting users and hunters in these areas, as well as the maintenance of a large number of ungulates here, is one of the components of the prosperity of the population of a rare predator.