Are Siberian tigers endangered in the USA?

Hunted hunters: Tigers remain critically endangered

Moscow Great joy among animal rights activists: For the first time, a camera trap photographed one of the rare free-living Amur tigers in the Chinese Wangqing reserve near the Russian border. “There are increasing signs that the tiger is slowly reclaiming its former habitat,” says Markus Radday from the environmental protection organization WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature).

But the situation remains serious for the largest big cat in the world. 100 years ago there were around 100,000 tigers, today a total of around 3,200 specimens still live in the wild in 13 countries. "That's damn little," complains Pyotr Serdyukov from the International Animal Welfare Fund (IFAW) in Moscow.

A conference with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg is considered a milestone in the battle for the last wild tigers. In November 2010, after tough negotiations, 13 states agreed on protection zones for the big cats. Hollywood guest of honor Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Great Gatsby") even donated one million US dollars.

Two and a half years later, many conservationists are still frustrated. Poaching and smuggling continue to dramatically decrease the number of majestic animals. Of what were once nine tiger subspecies, six still exist worldwide today.

According to a WWF analysis, almost two thirds of all tiger sanctuaries do not meet the agreed minimum standards. Many protected areas lack staff and poaching is hardly punished, says Serdyukov. The "tiger powers" China and Russia have been wrestling for a common rescue plan for years. The neighboring countries had agreed in St. Petersburg to set up three new corridors for the big cats in their border area.