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VLADIVOSTOK, February 3. /TASS/. Ecologists have practically completed "tiger census" in the Russian Far East held for purposes of counting the number of tiger and leopard species remaining in the region. During the census launched on January 31, nearly 80% of the animals have been counted, their routes studied and the paw prints of the animals and their likely victims registered, a source from the Maritime Department of the Amur Tiger Foundation Center told TASS.
"The current task is to make a prompt assessment of the results and see if any 'loopholes' remained on the studied routes and if all the animal paw prints were registered," said Director of the Maritime Department of the Amur Tiger Foundation Sergey Aramilev. "Judging by the remnants of the food and signs of the games the animals enjoyed, they are in good physical form," he added.
The ecologists have been conducting a tiger "census" in the Russian Far East, looking for the Amur tiger on a vast territory from the Amur region to the south of the Maritime territory, since January 31. The tiger population is counted once every ten years.
Forest territories of around 150,000 square kilometers all in all will have been examined and a total of 1,500 routes known to be used by tigers will have been followed. The ecologists are planning to examine all of them and measure the size of tigers' paw prints.
The tiger census involves around 2,000 ecologists and volunteers.
Ten years ago the population of the Amur tiger in the south of the Russian Far East numbered 423-502 species, or 95% of the overall world population of this kind of tiger species.