The beautiful Amur tiger is critically endangered. The largest of all the tiger subspecies, it used to range widely over north-east China and Russia. Now an estimated 500 remain in the wild. The Chinese government is making great strides to bring the tiger back home to China by improving prey access and reducing human disturbance in the tigers range.
This is a joint project with our academic partners at the Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, China, and our Chinese government partners at the Feline Research Center of the Chinese State Forestry Administration.
Collecting footprints from more than 40 individual Amur tigers we developed an algorithm from footprints to identify individuals, age and sex from footprints. Sex-ID from footprints has been published here and individual ID is in preparation.
Initial data from free-ranging animals show that more tigers than expected may be recolonising China from the Russian far-east, a very encouraging sign.