Wildcats Conservation Alliance
Protecting the future of the Amur Tiger
Amur Tiger captive populations are managed by an European Endangered Species Programme, which are vital for the future protection of a given species.
Each programme is managed by an coordinator, who manages the database of animals kept in accredited European zoos; collecting and analysing information on all the individuals in captivity and monitoring the status of animals.
The coordinator also manages a species European Studbook (ESB), carrying out demographic and genetical analyses and producing a plan for the future management of the species. It is the coordinator who will recommend which animals should or shouldn't breed, and which animals should be moved amongst wildlife collections to achieve the greatest genetic diversity within the species.
Captive breeding plans for Amur tigers
Currently there are 247 Amur Tigers in 90 EAZA collections. Woburn Safari Park currently holds five majestic Amur tigers and in September 2015, were delighted to announce the arrival of two female cubs - the first at the park in 23 years.
When the female cubs - Mishka and Milashki - become sexually mature at around two years of age, it is likely Woburn will receive a recommendation from the EEP committee to move them to other EAZA collection/s, to be paired with males that offer a good genetic match.
By using genetics to pair up individuals it ensures the gene pool is as diverse as possible further strengthening the future of the species. Captive populations are incredibly important for endangered species as numbers in the wild can decline rapidly due to many threats such as deforestation, conflicts with farmers/livestock, poaching and the traditional medicine market. By having healthy viable breeding populations within captivity the future of the species as a whole is greatly improved.
Since 2014, WSP have run an annual charity event to raise funds for Wildcats Conservation Alliance. The carnivore team here at Woburn picked Wildcats Conservation Alliance as we felt it is a charity doing invaluable work to safeguard the future of both Amur tigers and leopards in their wild habitat.
The previous fundraising campaigns have raised over £13,000 and the team aim to build on this success in the future.