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Manchurian Tigers and More Rare wild animals Active in Jilin

Three wild Manchurian tigers, which are rare and hard to be tracked, were recently filmed using infrared array cameras at a forest farm in the Wangqing Protection Area, an official with the Dongjingcheng Forestry Bureau in Heilongjiang province.

The cameras were set up by the Forestry Department of Jilin Province and Beijing Normal University.

The first male Manchurian tiger was discovered on June 8, 2016, and a female one was filmed on Dec 8, 2016, and April 22, 2017, which was also the first time such clear images of these wild animals had been captured.

She stopped in front of the camera and directly looked at it. Then she left and turned around, blinking her eyes at the lens.

On Feb 2, 2017, and April 19, 2017, a third Manchurian tiger was filmed. It was a male one and was seen swiftly moving his strong body through the forest of the Wangqing Protection Area.

The area is a national natural protection area for wild Manchurian tigers and Manchurian leopards, and the population of these creatures seems to be increasing with the improvement of the natural environment.

Sun Quan, deputy-director general of the Wangqing Protection Area, explained that infrared array cameras were set up in the area in 2011 to observe the growth and living conditions of Manchurian tigers and leopards.

"To date, there have been three to four Manchurian tigers and five to six Manchurian leopards filmed in the area," he added.

Manchurian tigers, also known as the Amur or Siberian tiger, mainly live in eastern Russia, northeast China and the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It is estimated that there are only less than 500 living in the wild by the end of 2015.

A worker at the bureau said that the tiger spotted this time was seen in Suiyang forest a few years ago, but has appeared frequently in Dongjingcheng forest in the past two years. This shows that a corridor for Manchurian tigers really exists between two forest regions, where rare wild animals can survive.

Another piece of exciting news is that a photo of a brown bear and five cubs was taken in Suiyang forest on April 3. The photo shows the five cubs in a line following a huge female brown bear.

Jiang Guangshun, executive deputy director of the cat research center of the State Forestry Administration and a professor at Northeast Forestry University, said that the photo is “amazing”, not only because it is the first time brown bears have been spotted in that region, but also because brown bears usually have one to four cubs per  birth, and it is rare for them to have five cubs.

Protection of rare animals in Heilongjiang province is proving to be effective. The numbers of Manchurian tigers and leopards are increasing, and endangered species including brown bears, Siberian musk deer and sika deer are under protection. Biological diversity in Heilongjiang province is undergoing rapid restoration.