Copyright ¿ L. G. Kaplanov
Copyright ¿ K. Lofdahl, A. Shevlakov, 2005 (English translation)
From the author:
The present article contains the results of the author's observations made during work in the Sikhote-Alin State Nature Reserve and data obtained by questioning hunters from the Iman river. The winter of 1940 was specially dedicated to the census and study of the tiger on the western slopes.During the winter of 1941, we succeeded in continuing our investigations on the eastern maritime side of the Sikhote-Alin Mt. Range. However, a complete elucidation of the ecology of the Ussuri tiger remains a task for the future. I wish to express my gratitude to my companions on the walks through the taiga: V. E. Spiridonov and F. A. Kozin (both guards at the reserve), who facilitated the successful completion of the work.
Methods for the Field Studies:
The main task before us in the winter of 1940 was a census of the tiger in the nature reserve.All trips that I carried out during that winter were made in the company of the junior reserve guard, F. A. Kozin.We needed to cover a network of routes within a very short period of time (3 months), namely, the greater part of the western side of the nature reserve, at least along the main natural routes of communication (i.e., the river valleys), and at the same time follow the tracks of the tigers for a long period in order to observe their hunting behavior and way of life.
Figure. Male and Female Ussuri Tigers (based on a painting by the artist, V. A. Vatagin).
The enormous territory of the Sikhote-Alin State Nature Reserve (18,000 km2) has remote areas that have not been developed by humans and which are absolutely deserted.The places with human settlements are located only along the borders of the reserve, and the rare shelters (cabins) are present only along the valleys of a few rivers, mainly in the Ternei sector (along the Sitsa-Sankhobe Rivers). The sole line of communication that ran through the nature reserve at that time--the pack animal track from Ternei to Sidatun (which was 127 km in length)--had not yet been completed at the start of our investigations, and, also, not all the cabins were yet present at regular intervals along the route. Only two cabins, which had been constructed for a study of the moose in 1937 and 1938, were available, located along the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River and the Nantsa River (a tributary of the Armu River) in the very depths of the nature reserve.
Our fieldwork consisted of a series of short (up to 7 days) trips and one long (1 month) excursion, during which everything necessary for life and work in the taiga, including all the equipment and a food supply, had to be taken with us.In order to ensure maximum mobility and speed of travel under winter conditions, all the details of clothing, equipment, and the food supply were carefully thought out beforehand, and the weight of the equipment was reduced to an absolute minimum. Under the conditions of the severe Far Eastern winter, we renounced the use of: a tent with a stove, fur sleeping bags (kukuli), and a sledge, instead walking, using a nod'ya1 (when camping overnight) and ourselves carrying everything in a fonaga2. Both participants in the work were dressed in jackets and trousers (made from the heavy, coarse cloth that is used for greatcoats), warm underwear, and wool sweaters, fur caps, fur mittens, and we wore ologi made out of chamois leather on our feet. Instead of goat skins and blankets serving as a bed during life in the taiga, light weight (2 kg) kukhlyanki made out of the skin of a young reindeer (a neblyui) were used.
1nod'ya: a special type of fire (cf., the footnote on page 15 of the Russian original), used while camping overnight in the forest.
2fonaga: an apparatus for carrying heavy loads that is used by hunters in the Far East. It has a narrow board or plank with shoulder straps and smaller straps for the attachment of the load, which is uniformly distributed along the back of the person carrying the load.
The camping equipment consisted of a light axe, a two-handed meter saw, two coarse calico awnings, two army-style aluminum mess-tins with covers, and two mugs and spoons. The remainder of the equipment consisted of a camera (model FED) and film for it (which was kept in a rubber hot water bottle with a screw-on lid), two rifles, a Mauser and a Berdan, one compass, two knives, a file, one chisel, one whetstone and two field notebooks with pencils. We did not forget to take an awl, waxed thread, needles, and pieces of chamois leather for mending footwear. Food, which had to be lightweight and small in volume and, simultaneously, to be of high caloric value, consisted of fresh flat cakes (made of 30% wheat flour, honey, and butter without the addition of water), rice, pork bacon, butter, sugar, cocoa, and spirits.We obtained meat from the remains of carcasses that had been killed by tigers, and from kabarga that had been killed by yellow-throated martens (Martes flavigula - Transl.) The weight of the knapsack carried by each person fluctuated from 25 to 10 kg. In order to facilitate carrying the weight, we were forced to do without (as if they were unnecessary luxuries): a telephoto lens (model FED), binoculars, a supply of linen, and washing materials.
We walked without using skis along the upper reaches of the Iman River and the left tributaries of the Kolumbe River, where the depth of the snow cover fluctuated from 20-25 cm (reaching in some cases up to 40 cm); but along the Kolumbe and the Armu, where the depth of the snow layer amounted to 35-60 cm, we traveled on skis of the Udege type (which are approximately 2 m in length and 13 cm wide) that were made out of ash (Fraxinus sp. - Transl.) and which had moose (or elk, Alces alces - Transl.) skins glued to the bottoms of the skis. Each participant in the walking tour had a "kabargonza" in his hands--a lightweight spruce (Picea sp. - Transl.) pole that was about 2 m in length with a small trowel on the end, which served as a support during descents and ascents on skis and which helped in the determination of the freshness of animal tracks.
During the march along the Kolumbe and Armu Rivers, we were accompanied by two dogs, which we led on leashes. These dogs were taken as an untouchable, self-transporting food supply in the case of any sort of accident or misfortune in the taiga (the illness of one of the participants in the trip or a deep snowfall) and for pulling a sledge, in case the manufacture of one was necessary along the route. We fed them with the remains of the prey of tigers, wolves, and yellow martens.
During trips of short duration, the tiger tracks sometimes led us far into the taiga, so that, on two occasions, we had to walk almost without any food, one time for 24 hours and the other time for 48 hours. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to remain without food over the course of three days while completing the long route.
When setting off on the long journey, which covered a distance of approximately 400 km through the central part of the nature reserve, we naturally could not carry a supply of provisions on our backs to last the entire time, and we made several food depots along the way, and food supplies had been delivered there in advance. These bases were located in cabins along the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River and in the upper reaches of the Nantsa River--a tributary of the Armu River.
In the winter of 1940, we walked with knapsacks on foot and on skis for 1,232 km (completing 28 overnight stays under the open sky) and surmounted 14 mountain ridges, several of which exceeded an elevation of 1,000 m. In January 1940, the frosts reached -48.3o C (according to data from the Ust'-Kolumbe meteorological station in Sidatun). In the winter of 1941, fieldwork took place in the economically developed and well-known territory of the eastern part of the nature reserve (in the basin of the Kema River). Here I alone conducted semi-stationary observations on the way of life of the tigers, but I made use of the nature reserve guards (and horses in harness) with regard to the provision of food and transportation from place to place.The trips were carried out by walking on skis without carrying any load in a knapsack in the near vicinity of houses and cabins. At the end, a hike (of approximate length 133 km) was completed from the Kema River across the middle part of the eastern slopes along a line of Manchurian pine [or Korean Pine, Pinus koraiensis - Transl.] groves to the south up to Ternei that involved the traversing of three mountain ranges and three overnight camps in the snow. The equipment was identical to that used in the winter of 1940, and as well one dog accompanied me. In order to lighten the weight of the knapsack during the crossing of the eastern slopes in the presence of very steep relief, deep snow and frequently recurring heavy snowfalls, the only food supply taken was a concentrate, consisting of cocoa, sugar and butter which had to be dissolved in boiling water. This food, though lightweight, ensured a supply of energy and a very good physical condition during difficult and rapid mountain travel on skis in severe cold.
The Distribution of the Tiger in the Far East in Recent Years:
In 1930-1932, the tiger was distributed throughout Ussuri province and the middle Amur River region either as small groups or as individual animals that were isolated from each other. They inhabited several districts in South-Ussuri province, along the Iman River, the Bikin River, the Khor River, the Podkhorenok River (a right tributary of the Ussuri River), and along the Anyui River, the Khungari River, the Kur River, the Urmi River, the Bira River, the Bidzhan River (which are right and left tributaries of the Amur River), and along the Tyrma River (in the basin of the Bureya River) (11).
By 1940, this information on the distribution of the tiger had become obsolete. The number of separate areas that were inhabited by tigers had been reduced, and the number of individuals had decreased. This took place because of the tiger hunting and also as a result of natural losses to the population. A solitary tiger was observed near the city of Voroshilov during the 1939-1940 season. A female and two cubs were observed in the Chernigovskii region near a farm in forest on the right side of the Lefu River between the cities of Voroshilov and Spassk1.
According to data from our census (cf., below), only 10-12 individual tigers of various ages lived in the central Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range (also including tigers living in the nature reserve), in an area of approximately 30,000 km2, mainly along the basin of the upper Iman River. The tiger has been absent along the Bikin River for a number of years. According to information received from a hunting guide K. G. Abramov (from the Khabarovsk Provincial Department of the State Fur Industry), tigers were found in the following sites in the Far East during the 1939-1940 season: 1) in the upper reaches of the Anyui River (a hunting guide from Glavpushnina (the Central State Fur Industry), Comrade Shumeiko, observed the tracks of a small tiger at the beginning of 1939; 2) along the Sutar River (the upper reaches of the Bira River) in Birobidzhan (a female with three year-old cubs, two of which--a male and a female--were caught by a brigade from the Khabarovsk 'zoobaza',[ i.e., trading and veterinary center -Transl.], and it was assumed that this family came from Manchuria); 3) near Tyoplye Klyuchi ["Warm Springs" - Transl.] in Birobidzhan, where a tiger cub weighing 10 kg., which had been abandoned by its mother, was caught in the winter of 1939.
A brigade from the Khabarovsk 'zoobaza' carried out energetic searches for tigers along the Khor River and along its tributary, the Matai River, but they did not find any animals. The hunters did not encounter tigers along the Bikin, Podkhorenok, or Obor Rivers. These sites are located quite far apart from each other. The most intact region inhabited by tigers in the Soviet Far East is situated along the basin of the upper Iman River and in the Sikhote-Alin State Nature Reserve, but here also the population density is approximately one individual per 2,000 km2. The total number of tigers in the entire province (South-Ussuri krai) is calculated to be several tens of individuals, probably not more than 20-30 tigers.
1A communication from A. Kuznetsov, a hunting guide from the Primorskaya Kraipushnina (District Fur Industry).
In South-Ussuri province and along the middle course of the Ussuri River, instances of the migration of tigers across the state border from Manchuria have been observed in the past, but now such trans-border movements are improbable, since the stretch of land near the railroad, which separates the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range from the border section of eastern Manchuria, is densely settled by people and is an area under cultivation, which cannot fail to scare away tigers.Moreover, the valley of the Ussuri River is an extensively unforested expanse across which tigers might possibly pass, but, in any case, with a high degree of reluctance. Along the middle Amur River, such movements from Manchuria are apparently more likely to occur.
According to information collected in 1940, the northern limit of distribution of the tiger in the Far East--the Anyui River--is located at 49oN latitude. According to data from 1930 that were collected by Yu. A. Salmin and which have been presented to me for publication, the boundary ran from Vosnesensk on the Amur River up to Nizhne-Tambovsk on the Amur River (the district of the Gorina and Khungari Rivers), where, according to local inhabitants - the indigenous Nanaitsy--tiger tracks were observed twice over the last 5 years. Accidental visits of tigers were noted as far away as Lake Kizi and Lake Khadi at the mouth of the Amur River and to the north of the Birinzha River, a tributary of the Tyrma River (in the basin of the Bureya River). A. V. Afanasiev (4) recorded the case of a visit of a tiger in the upper reaches of the Amgun River during the summer of 1931.
Tigers Inhabiting the Iman River Area During the Course of the Last Ten Years (1930-1940), the Tiger Hunting Industry and its Effect on the Population of the Species:
Over the last ten years, tigers continuously inhabited the upper part of the Iman River near the Khantun, Lyuchikheza, Ankheza, Syao-Sinancha and Orochenka Rivers. Having come from the Noto River (a tributary of the Ulakhe River) and having descended the Iman River along Krasnaya Stream, the 'Old Believers' [followers of non-orthodox wing of the Russian Church - Transl. ] founded a village, "Verkhnii Khutor" (or khutor "Khantun" [khutor = village or farmstead - Transl. ]) in 1929 at a distance of 15 km above the mouth of the Kolumbe River on its right bank. And they found several tigers there that had permanently inhabited that site. This settlement no longer exists, but tigers are encountered most frequently here along this part of the Iman River (just as in previous years). Tigers also inhabited other parts of the Iman River basin, along the headwaters of Beitsukhe, along the Tatibe, Armu, and Kolumbe Rivers, the headwaters of Naitsukhe and along the Ta-Sinancha River.
The geographic distribution and the exact sites inhabited by tigers are most graphically visualized by listing the adult animals killed and the litters of cubs captured in recent years (Table 1 and the diagram on page 22 of the Russian original).
Number of Tigers Killed
Sex, Age, and Weight
Number of Tigers
Obtained the Tiger(s)
1926-1927 Beitsukhe River, Tu-Nantsa
Adult female and 3 cubs, each weighing 20 kg
Resident of Peshchernovo Village
1929-1930 Ta-Sinancha River
1 I.Lovlyaga, from the village of Vakhumbe
1932 Yamagan River, near Peshchernoye
Adult female weighing 128 kg, 2 cubs each weighing 6 kg (found frozen to death) 3 A. Beceda from Peshchernoye Village
Male 1 T. Kalugin 1933 near Sanchikheza
Female with 5 embryos 1 E. Kelindziga
1933-1934 Chichiveza, below Vakhumbe
Female with 2 embryos 1 Kondrat Bryzhko from the village of Vakhumbe 11.IV.1939 Tatibe
1 Senior guard,
A. A. Kozin
27.I.1940 Upper Reaches of the Ta-Sinancha River
Male weighing 203 kg 1 S. Batrak and N. Peknik from the village of Bogolyubovka 20.VI.1940 Upper reaches of the Syao-Sinancha River
Male weighing about 240 kg 1 Demchishin and Korolev
Number of Tiger Cubs Captured
Location Sex, Age, and Weight Number of cubs
Person Obtaining the Cubs 1930 Ankheza
? ? the Revtovs
Small cubs 3 the Revtovs 1931 Tatibe
Found on a trail, 2 dead, emaciated cubs 2 T. Kalugin 1932 Tatibe, source of the Tu-Nantsa River
2 T. Kalugin
1933 Tatibe at the source of the Talinguza River
3 T. Kalugin and the Pozdeevs
1932 Near the
Sanchikheza (Vakhumbinskaya Hill)
Each cub weighed 50 kg
2 M. and T. Trofimov, S. Vyglov, Morozeev 1933 Armu River,
Each cub weighed 50 kg
3 N.Cherepanov, M. Andreev,
1934 Kolumbe River, Syao-Nancha River
Small cubs 3 Savitskii from Vakhumbe, Udege hunters from Sanchikheza 1935 Tatibe, Tu-Nantsa
3 T. Kalugin
1936 Iman River, 15 km above Sidatun "near Chup"
2 males and 1 female, weighing from 12-19 kg 3 I. Trofimov, S. Vereshchagin, S. Vyglov, K. Kalugin 1938 Orochenka River, a left tributary of the Iman River
2 males and 1 female, weighing from 49-56 kg 3 T. Kalugin, V. Andreev, K. Shevkunov and Pozdeev
Diagram 1. Diagram of the spatial distribution of sites where tiger cubs were captured or tigers were killed:
1) Sites where tigers were killed or found dead
2) Sites where litters were captured
This map was produced for the translation based on the original map
using Free GIS GRASS. The original map scan can be found here.
Ten litters of cubs were captured over the course of the last 10 years; several litters were found dead or had been killed (in 1932, two small dead tiger cubs were found at Naitsukhe). The total number of tiger cubs that were taken alive is 40, while this number amounted to nine tigers for the capture of adult animals (and one adult tiger was found dead).Out of the total number of litters captured, 4 litters were caught along the upper reaches of the Iman River (along the Sonancha, Ankheza, and Lyuchikheza Rivers), one litter (caught at Beitsa) came from along the Armu River, 4 litters were taken from along the Tatibe River and one litter each was taken near Vakhumbe and along the Orochenka River.
Two sites that are favorite birthing sites of tigers, where they often have their litters, are indicated.This forces the hunters to assume that they are litters from one and the same tigress.Normally, the female leads her cubs for 3 years, i.e., she gives birth only once in a three-year period.Having lost her offspring, the tigress soon mates again.
In recent years, before the organization of the nature reserve, when all hunting lands had been developed to a considerable degree (and had been frequently visited by people), the capture of tiger cubs (due to the high value placed on the animals) became an attractive sort of industry in which almost all the litters were caught. In the event of the slaughter of adult females, the tiger cubs died of starvation, and recruitment into the tiger population was almost non-existent. The animals, having reached old age (the length of life for tigers is 40-50 years), had already become incapable of breeding, a fact, which can probably also explain the existence of "bachelor" (i.e., unmated) females at the present time. Another cause could also be the great rarity of individual tigers, which do not encounter each other during the mating period (the female's estrus period), a factor that has been mentioned by Yu. A. Salmin (11). However, knowing the ability of tigers to cover enormous areas over a short period of time and looking at the records on the frequency of encounters with the tracks of tigers of opposite sexes in sites continually inhabited by tigers (for example, the upper reaches of the Iman River), it is difficult to agree with this point of view.
Frequency of Encounters with Tigers in the Nature Reserve up until 1940:
The following information is available concerning encounters with tiger tracks during the years prior to the organization of the nature reserve. In the winter of 1933, the former director of the nature reserve, K. G. Abramov, did not see even a single track of a tiger, while traveling from Loukhe village on the Bikin River along Davaktsii (Tobakchi) Stream and along the Beitsa River (a tributary of the Armu River), and while descending along the latter river to the village of Laulyu. Yu. A. Salmin, a zoologist from the nature reserve, having completed a journey in that same year along the Armu and Nantsa Rivers, saw the tracks of a solitary tiger (a male) along the middle course of the Nantsa River and an old tiger trail that ran along the Armu River, above Bailaza. In the summer of 1933, the tracks of a very large tiger were observed in the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River by a zoological expedition of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (with the participation of K. K. Flerov and N. T. Zolotarev).In 1930, the tracks of a small female, which had brought down a moose [or elk, Alces alces - Transl.], were seen by the senior guard of the nature reserve, A. I. Kuklin, along the upper reaches of the Ta-Nancha River (a tributary of the Kolumbe River). K. G. Abramov and Yu. A. Salmin did not see even a single tiger track while traveling over a route from Sidatun-Kolumbe-Nancha-Ternei during the winter of 1934-1935. In 1924, A. A. Kuklin observed the tracks of a tiger along the upper reaches of the Tun'sha-Sankhobe Rivers (near Koshkin Stream).
Beginning in approximately 1925 up until 1935 (according to hunters from Kema and Ternei), there were no tiger tracks during winter along the uppermost reaches of the Armu-Nantsa Rivers or those of the Kolumbe River (excluding the Ta-Nancha River). The zoologist Yu. A. Salmin saw the tracks of a small female during the winters of 1935-1936 and 1936-1937 along the upper reaches of the Sankhobe and Sitsa Rivers. The female hunted wild boar in this area in 1936. After 1937 (and up until 1940) her tracks were no longer encountered there. In the summer of 1936, F. Alifanov, a worker at the nature reserve, observed very large tracks of a tiger in the district of Lyuchikheza. The tracks of three tigers [a large male, a small female, and an animal of intermediate size (a large female)] were observed annually from 1936-1940 during winter and summer seasons in the district that includes Khantun village, and the Lyuchikheza and Ankheza Rivers. They frequently stayed along the lower reaches of the Kolumbe River near the placer mines, where the tigers themselves were also observed. Tiger cubs were taken from one of these tigresses in 1936 near "Chep". The tiger cubs that were caught in 1938 were taken from a small female, which departed upstream along the Orochenka River. Beginning in the winter of 1938-1939, the tracks of tigers also began to be observed along the Kolumbe River up to the mouth of the Ta-Beicha River at a distance of 27 km from Sidatun (according to A. A. Kozin and F. A. Kozin, who were guards at the nature reserve).
In June and July of 1938, a group of workers from the nature reserve, which had ascended along the Armu and Nantsa Rivers up to their headwaters, twice found the tracks of adult tigers (and they heard the roar of a tiger on one occasion) along the Armu River above Bailaza and along the Nantsa River at one day's journey from the mouth of that river (A. I. Kuklin and A. A. Kozin). In February, 1938, according to our observations, a tiger of average size (the width of the print of the front paw was 15 cm) had ascended along the Nantsa River (a tributary of the Armu River) from the mouth of the upper Sitsa River up to a burned-over clearing in the forest located at a distance of 5 km from the Sikhote-Alin, where the tiger hunted moose and lived for a period of several days. On December 23, 1938, a tiger of average size (the width of the prints of the front paws was 16 cm) ascended along the Nantsa River (a tributary of the Armu River), into the uppermost reaches of this river and descended to the Ta-Kunzha River (a tributary of the Kema River). And, on January 1-2, 1939, the tiger continued its descent, going in the reverse direction along the Nantsa River. At a distance of 50 km from the headwaters of the Nantsa (above where Sintsa Stream flows into it) there turned out to be many tracks made by this tiger, old tiger prints, and one old print from a small tiger cub (less than a year old). We observed the tracks of a small tiger at the end of December 1938, at the headwaters of the Kolumbe River in forest burns above extensive salt licks. On March 9, 1939, the tracks of a tigress with two small cubs were discovered. The animals had emerged from the area near the Orochenka River and had departed toward Ankheza Stream. Up until this time, the tigress had lived near the forks of the Syao-Sinancha River at a distance of 20 km from the mouth of the river (F. A. Kozin). On May 18, 1939, F. A. Kozin, who had arrived at the Syao-Nancha River by following a 97 km-long trail to the salt lick "Mineral'nye Vody", [ i.e., "Mineral Waters" - Transl.], discovered a moose calf there that had been eaten by a tiger at the end winter. And not far away, he found two large piles of dung where apparently the tiger cubs had defecated many times in one place. The dimensions of the droppings were no greater than those of dogs. On June 4, the tigress once again visited this site. On April 15, 1939, the prints of a tigress with one small cub emerged from the left bank of the Kolumbe River, crossed Zhdanov Stream, and went away toward the Ta-Beicha River (I. Sereda, senior guard of the nature reserve). On June 11, 1939, a large dead male tiger which had no external injuries was found in an entirely fresh state of preservation along the Tatibe River at a distance of 40 km from the village of Sibichi, and the tracks of an animal of intermediate size (apparently a female) were observed (A. A. Kozin).
The observations from March 9, May 18 and April 15, 1939, pertain to one and the same litter. Probably, one of the tiger cubs had died in the period prior to April 15, 1939; the subsequent fate of the litter is unknown to us. The tigress had a small footprint. Thus, we see that from 1935 to 1940 tigers continuously inhabited the western slope of the nature reserve along the upper reaches of the Iman River near the Ankheza and Lyuchikheza Rivers and along the lower reaches of the Kolumbe River as well as along the middle course of the Armu and Tatibe Rivers. From there, they penetrated into the uppermost reaches of the Armu River, and into the Nantsa and the Kolumbe Rivers up to the Sikhote-Alin. And in the case of individual animals, tigers were descending along the eastern slope, along the Sitsa-Sankhobe Rivers, along the Kema River, and along Ta-Kunzha and Taratai Streams. In 1940, for the first time in 25 years, an entire family of tigers which had abandoned the upper reaches of the Armu-Beitsa Rivers established themselves in the Kema River area. At the present time they live along the basins of the Kema and Belimbe Rivers while also visiting the western slopes.
The Tiger Census in 1940:
A census of tigers was carried out along winter routes which encompassed, with few exceptions, almost the entire territory of the Sikhote-Alin State Nature Reserve and a considerable portion of the adjoining areas. The datapresented here (which were collected from December 1, 1939 to March 15, 1940) include almost the entire central section of the central Sikhote-Alin, an area of 30,000 km2, including the basins of the Iman and Bikin Rivers, and the coast from Ternei to Khutsin. For the census, we completed 8 extended journeys along the valleys of rivers and also completed approximately 30 shorter journeys and short trips, of total length about 3,000 km. The major part of the investigation consisted of journeys of length 1,232 km(made by L. G. Kaplanov and F. A. Kozin, a guard from the nature reserve),and journeys made by the senior guards (V. E. Spiridonov and A. A. Kozin)and nine tiger hunters from the Khabarovsk 'zoobaza'. Data from other guards at the nature reserve, from Iman hunters, and from a hunting guide of the Iman inter-regional office of 'Zagotzhivcyryo' [live-trapping industry - Transl.], Comrade Shilo, were also utilized. During the work, we observed all tracks and journeys of tigers in the district where we made our observations andin the district where the tiger hunters of the Khabarovsk 'zoobaza'were active, and we included observations made by nature reserve guards and by other people. Each print that we observed was measured, the individual features of the tiger making it were established, and the sex was determined. By means of a comparison of the travels of tigers observed in the nature reserve with those observed on corresponding dates in the adjacent territories, we succeeded in following the movements of known individuals over a great distance and also succeeded in establishing the approximate location of each separate individual.
Walking along the tracks of a tiger in snow revealed the day-to-day aspectsof its life, the tiger's prey animals, and the predator's methods of hunting.This tracking also allowed us to establish the dimensions of its hunting territory and to define precisely the population size of the tigers.
Determination of the Numbers of Tigers in the Study Area During the 1939-1940 Season:
Basing our estimate on the data produced (cf., appendix) and on our acquaintance with the ecology of the animal, the dimensions of the hunting territory of each individual tiger and the length of their travels, and also taking into account the distribution of tigers in this territory over the last 10 years, the status and the nature of the tiger catching industry and the losses of tigers, we determined the total number of tigers in the indicated area of Ussuri krai to be 10-12 individuals, and together with those killed in 1940, to be 12-14 individuals. The tigers were distributed in the following way (cf., the diagram on page 25 of the Russian original) in individual sectors of this area:
1) an old, solitary female, which left the nature reserve for the Syao-Sinancha River during the spring.
2) a male, which had departed, heading upstream at the beginning of January. It is entirely possible that this is the very same tiger whose tracks we saw at the end of February at the headwaters of the Nantsa-Armu Rivers, and that he was the same one present on February 16-18 in Kema.
Armu River - along the upper reaches of the Nantsa and Beitsa Rivers, along Deupikhe Stream and along Chanza Stream.
Kema River: the upper reaches of the Ta-Kunzha and Taratai Rivers, Pravaya Akhte Stream, Teniguza River, Izyubrevyi Stream, and the Kema River at a distance of 27 km from Yasnaya Polyana.
3) an old male
4) an old female
5) a year-old cub with a male that was 3 years old (killed by V. E. Spiridonov, senior guard of the nature reserve)
6) a 3-year-old female
7) a 3-year-old female.
Outside of the Nature Reserve:
8) a solitary female
Syao-Sinancha River: an old male, killed at the headwaters of the Ta-Sinancha River on January 27.
9) an old male, which left the Syao-Sinancha River on February 1.
Shubikha Stream (a left tributary of the Iman River, which is located along its upper reaches):
10) a male
11) a female
Among the 10 or 11 animals discovered, there were: 3 or 4 adult males, 4 adult females, two young females and one cub. Out of this number, 4 or 5 adult tigers (1 or 2 adult males, 1 adult female, 2 young females) and 1 cub were found in the nature reserve or along the border of the reserve on approximately March 15. We might have failed to discover females with young, which are living in areas that are rich in prey and which therefore do not produce tracks over a great distance, but the number of these individuals is insignificant, and we do not wish to make any guesses on this subject. After the census, another large male was killed on June 20, 1940, along the Syao-Sinancha River in the upper reaches of the Iman River. The number counted had decreased in this way by yet another individual. In total, three males (one along the Ta-Sinancha River, one along the Syao-Sinancha River along a tributary of the Iman River and one along the Kema River) were killed in 1940 in the central Sikhote-Alin.
In the winter of 1941, on the eastern slopes of the nature reserve in the basin of the Kema River we discovered an adult male tiger which had also been making journeys along the Belimbe, the Armu, and the Kolumbe Rivers.Moreover, at the beginning and also during the middle period of this winter (20.XI.1940 and 7.I.1941), a guard A. A. Perfiliev found the tracks of two tigers of different sizes (probably, a 4-year-old male and a female), which had been walking together along the Belimbe River.Here they descended to a "lower elevation" base [of study - Trans.] at a distance of 26 km from the sea.Simultaneously, the tracks of tigers became significantly fewer in number in the district that includes the upper Iman River. F. A. Kozin saw the tracks of a tiger in July 1940, and he saw the tiger itself near the village of Khantun in September. On October 12, I saw the tracks of a tiger on a trail at a distance of 12 km from the mouth of the Kolumbe River. Over the course of the winter season of 1940-1941, journeys by a tiger in the vicinity of the upper Iman River were discovered on three occasions: along the Kolumbe River and the Syao-Sinancha and Lyuchikheza Rivers. The visits of a tiger (probably a female) into the upper reaches of the Sitsa-Sankhobe Rivers (along Yakova Stream up to the 68-km mark on the path from Ternei-Sidatun) and near Medvezhii Stream were observed in November 1940, and in February 1941.
Diet and Way of Life:
The tiger preys upon: wild boar (Sus scrofa), Manchurian red deer (Cervus elaphus xanthopygus - Transl.), sika deer (Cervus nippon - Transl.), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus - Transl.), musk deer (Moschus moschiferus - Transl.), hares (Lepus sp.- Transl.), bears (Ursus sp. - Transl.), lynx (Felis lynx or Lynx lynx - Transl.), wolves, grouse, and also fish. The main item in the diet of the Ussuri tiger is generally considered to be wild boar (Sus scrofa - Transl.). Let us therefore describe the spatial distribution and the population dynamics of this species in the nature reserve.
Diagram 2. Diagram of the spatial distribution of tigers, the snow depth, and the routes traveled by the investigators:
1) Boundaries of the Nature Reserve
2) Routes Traveled by the Investigators
3) Spatial Distribution of Tigers in January, February, and March 1940.
4) Snow Depth in January, February, and March 1940
This map was produced for the translation based on the original map
using Free GIS GRASS. The original map scan can be found here.
The wild boar feeds mainly on pine nuts and acorns, but in years when these crops are poor, it feeds on horsetails, winter sedges, roots of lespedeza (bush clover, Lespedeza - Transl.), and shoots of shrubs, for example, Actinidia (a winter food). In the summer, the wild boar also eats plant roots, insects and their larvae, berries, fish and other animal food. In accordance with the distribution of the types of vegetation, the wild boar occupies mainly the lower reaches of rivers on the eastern and western slopes [of the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range - Transl.], where it lives along the bare slopes of low mountains, which are occupied by stands of Korean pine, and in Manchurian riparian forest, which are densely covered with stands of horsetail, which are more common on the western slopes. The spatial distribution of the wild boar in the nature reserve changes depending on the sizes of the crops of pine nuts and acorns.
The section of the eastern slope of the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range that lies within the boundaries of the nature reserve is ecologically favorable for the wild boar, since it has a large area of pure stands of Korean pine (which are more often seed-bearing than Korean pines on the western slopes). Moreover, this area is noted for a broad zone of oak forests by the sea coast and for a large admixture of oak in the forests, but it has a smaller area of horsetail stands. The eastern slope receives, in the majority of instances, little snow, and sometimes it is completely without snow, a fact that greatly facilitates the winter access of wild pigs to acorns, cones of Korean pines, and horsetails. On the western slopes, a permanent snow cover of 20 to 70 cm is the norm, and only a small number of oak forests are found, and then only along the lowermost reaches of the rivers. At the time when the nature reserve was being organized, the numbers of wild boar along the Iman River were significantly higher than near the sea, a result that was caused both by the degree of intensity of economic activity and by characteristics of the lands used for hunting in previous years.
Since the conditions of existence for the wild boar are different on the western and eastern slopes, the biological state of the population also varied. In one and the same year (as was the case in 1939-1940), the wild boar living along the Iman River were thin during the middle of winter, but along by the coast they were well-fed and fat. The nutritional state determines the vital resistance of the herd and its reproductive rate in the following season. The population size of the herd of wild boar in the district that includes the nature reserve changes periodically as a consequence of this, greatly decreasing in years with a heavy snowfall, when a large percentage of the population, especially the young, perishes from exhaustion, hunger, predators, and the hunting activity of man. Such a minimum was reached by this species in the year 1935 in particular. Very deep snow on both slopes (at the mouth of the Kolumbe River, the snow depth was 94 cm in March) in combination with a large-scale and destructive hunting industry (many of the boar that had been killed were abandoned without having been removed from the taiga) greatly reduced their numbers.
By 1940, the number of wild boar began a continuous increase, and in 1941 the wild boar was found on the western slopes in small numbers along the Lyuchikheza (here the wild boar tends to be numerous only in years with a good harvest of Korean pine nuts, since the best Korean pine stands and the best squirrel hunting areas of the upper Iman River are located here). The wild boar was present in small numbers along the lower reaches of the Kolumbe River. It was very numerous along the Tyangou River and for a distance of 50 km along the lower course of the Armu River, and along its tributaries (the Bol'shaya and Malaya Sibichi, Mikula, and Bailaza Rivers) and present in lesser numbers along the Khankheza River. Enormous herds of wild boar (the snow had been completely dug up and trampled by them over a distance of many kilometers) were encountered along the lower course of the Tatibe River and its tributaries at a distance of 40 km from its mouth. They also became very numerous along the eastern slopes (along the middle course of the Sitsa-Sankhobe Rivers, the Tun'sha River, the Belimbe River, and especially the Kema River, along Ta-Kunzha Stream, the Taratai River, and the Kema River itself at a distance of 60 km from the sea). In winter, herds numbering 60 and 100 individuals were observed here. The wild boar is also common in oak forests along the coast.
A second species that is important in the diet of the tiger is the Manchurian red deer (Cervus elaphus xanthopygus - Transl.). It is also widely distributed in the nature reserve, living in Korean pine forests, mixed forests, and coniferous forests as well as in the mountains. On the western slopes, it especially likes to stay in riparian forest, feeding on horsetails there. The Manchurian deer has a rather uniform distribution throughout the entire nature reserve, but it lives mainly along the Kolumbe River (along its middle and upper course), along the Armu River (from the Sancheza to the mouth of this river), in burned-over forest clearings along the eastern slopes of the Yodzykhe and Kema Rivers, and in the region containing the salt licks along the Belimbe River. And it is very common in oak forests that occur along the boundary of the nature reserve near the sea.
The moose is no less important in the diet of the tiger. It continuously inhabits only the zone of 'Okhotsk Sea'-type vegetation occurring adjacent to the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, being present mainly on the western slopes along the upper reaches of the Lyuchikheza River, along the Syao-Nancha River, and being especially abundant along the Ta-Nancha River, the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River and the upper reaches of the Armu-Beitsa Rivers. The moose is less numerous along the upper reaches of the Armu-Nantsa Rivers. In the nature reserve, the greatest numbers of moose live along the Bikin River, including the Chinga River and other tributaries of the Bikin River.
Bears, both the brown bear (Ursus arctos - Transl.) and the Asiatic black bear (or Himalayan bear, Ursus thibetanus - Transl.), are very numerous in the nature reserve. It is difficult to say to what degree they become the prey of a tiger. In any event, an animal specializing on this type of prey could find them at any time of the year and in the necessary numbers.
With regard to the diet of the tiger, we succeeded in collecting the following information:
1. On February 15, 1940, I observed from the tracks on the snow a hunt by a solitary tigress on an adult female bear which lay in a den. By February 6, the tigress had come from the Kolumbe River area, crossed a slope and traversed a gently sloping shallow, small headland, selecting the most gentle topography, and then she exited onto the ridge, which divides the Nancha River and the Ta-Nancha River (both left tributaries of the Kolumbe River). Her path was a straight-line. Emerging onto the ridge, the tigress, following a path at right angle to the direction of her previous one, turned to her left under a hillside along the northern slope of the Nancha River, and taking small steps she stealthily approached a Korean pine, which lay at a distance of 50 m from the ridge, under which a den was located. The den was small, not deep, and had been excavated in the earth with a single opening that was oriented toward the north.
Apparently, the subsequent course of events took place as follows: the tigress dug out a hole from the opposite side of the den and then using this hole, the tigress frightened off the female bear by successively jumping first to the opening of the den, then to the aperture that she had excavated. Taking advantage of the moment, the tigress with a stroke of her paw grabbed the female bear on one of the bear's front paws, pulled it outside, and apparently rapidly and without any difficulty bit into the neck vertebrae at the back of the head. The skin of the sole pad on one of the front paws of the female bear was torn off and the digits were ripped up. Scratches from the claws of the tiger remained on the trunk of the Korean pine in several places at the opening of the den, scratches that had deeply cut into the bark and the wood. A small trampled down area with traces of blood was also present around the Korean pine tree. The tigress dragged the female bear downward for a short distance. And she totally consumed the bear over the course of several days, leaving the head, the front and rear feet with the tubular bones (the caput of the bone was gnawed) and shreds of fur. All the remaining parts, including the bones, the intestines and the skin, were consumed. There were several piles of excrement located nearby and also on the trail at a distance of 10-15 m from the first site.
The bear cubs, which were yearlings and each of which weighed about 30 kg, were apparently killed while still in the den (the skulls were bitten through), since the walls and the ceiling of the den were splattered with blood. While still warm, the bear cubs were taken 30 m down the slope, where they were placed untouched under a fir (Abies sp. - Transl.) tree. No tracks were present along one side of the carcass, since the tigress lay during all this time in front of the bear den, spending not less than 8 days here (from February 6-13). The female bear was small, not more than 80-100 kg. The tigress departed toward the Kolumbe River, without once deviating from her path.
2. Excrement of a tiger, which was found on February 17, 1940, at a distance of 45 km from the Kolumbe River, contained fur from a Manchurian deer.
3. Excrement of a tiger, which was found on March 2, 1940, along the middle course of the Nantsa-Armu Rivers, contained moose fur and splinters of tubular bones which were 2-5 cm in diameter.
4. There was only pigskin both in the stomach of a tiger that had been killed on February 16, 1940 at the Kema River and in numerous tiger droppings that had been found on the ice of the river.
5. On February 1, 1940, a large male tiger turned slightly from its path near the mouth of the Lyuchekheza River (in the valley of the Iman River) and approached the remains of a young lynx, which was covered with snow. Probably, this was the tiger's prey. Only the head, tail, and scraps of skin remained.
Photo 1. The opening of a bear den under a Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), from which a tigress extracted the bear (photo by the author)
6. The remains of a musk deer (Moschus moschiferus - Transl.) that had been eaten by a tiger family were found near the Syao-Kunzha River, Kema, on January 9, 1941.
7. Another animal, a half-eaten Manchurian deer was also found there on January 9, 1941 near a site where a tiger family was living.
8. The remains of a three-year-old wild boar that had been consumed by a tiger family were found on January 13, 1941 near the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River. Only the head and the feet remained. The tigress had also brought a piglet that she had caught, carrying it over a distance of 200 m to this site.
9. The dung of a male tiger, which consisted of fragments of pigskin, was found on the ice of the Ta-Kunzha River, Kema, on January 15, 1941.
10. An adult wild pig was found upstream along the Syao-Kunzha River on February 9, 1941.
11. The remains of a Manchurian deer, which had been consumed by a tiger family, were found upstream along the Syao-Kunzha River on February 9, 1941.
The tiger hunts bears more frequently than one might suppose. On November 9, 1940, the reserve guard, V. Spiridonov, observed that a tiger, having coming upon the track of a bear while going downstream along the Kema River (up to its tributary the Chima River), followed after the bear. On three occasions, we happened to observe brown bears wandering in deep snow during the middle of winter in those districts in areas where tiger tracks had been observed. This might be a coincidence, but it is also possible to suppose that the bear had been driven out from its den by tigers when the tiger had for some reason not succeeded in predating the bear.
I consider it necessary to present the observations recorded below in order to draw the attention of naturalists to such facts for future investigations.
On December 26, 1938, along the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River, I encountered the fresh tracks of a medium-sized bear, which had walked downstream over the ice. At precisely this location, there was the track of a tiger which had walked there several days earlier and which had left in the direction from which the bear had come (from the Malaya Kolumbe River). In December 1940, a large bear was wandering outside the nature reserve along the Chima River, the left tributary, in snow what was already of considerable depth. A male tiger passed through at the beginning of December, walking along the Chima River (V. E. Spiridonov observed it). In January 1941, I encountered the prints of a very large brown bear near the mouth of the Ta-Kunzha River, a tributary of the Kema River; this animal, which had accidentally come across a tiger family on the trail, abandoned this path at a gallop. At another site, he came across the track of a male tiger and also turned away from the tiger's track.
While following the tracks of tigers, we succeeded in elucidating the series of behaviors used by tigers when hunting moose, Manchurian deer, wild boar, and bears. The hunt takes place in the following way: the tiger follows the tracks of the animal and, once the tiger has reached fresh tracks, the tiger moves away toward the downwind side of the prey's path, where the tiger also hides, awaiting the approach of the prey. Probably, the hunts of the tiger take place during the night when it is easier for the tiger to remain undetected. Sometimes, the tiger frightens off the animal during his approach. And then the tiger rushes forward, leaping after the prey, usually without successfully overtaking the prey, and the tiger then ends the pursuit after covering a distance of 100-200 m.
The tiger kills all types of prey almost instantaneously, biting through the neck vertebrae at the back of the head with canine teeth that reach 6 cm in length. Only large bears, due to the fat layer at the nape of their neck, cannot be immediately killed. The tiger does not follow the tracks of animals for long periods, with the only exception to this being herds of wild boar. His hunting path during which he sometimes captures prey by directly encountering an animal or by stealing up to it forms a more or less of a straight line. During the summer the tiger lies in wait for animals, especially Manchurian deer, at backwaters of streams where they come to forage, at a watering place, and, especially often, at salt licks. Tigers visit salt licks very frequently, both in summer and winter, as do other predators - bears, wolves and lynx. Since 1940, the tracks of tigers have often been observed at the "larger" Kolumbe salt licks.
A male tiger or a solitary female, having caught prey weighing 100-150 kg (and usually not having eaten anything for several days prior to this), gorges itself and lies near the prey over the course of 5-6 or to 10 days, without leaving any tracks at any distance from the kill. Here, they defecate in the immediate vicinity of the prey. In summer, the animal naturally still goes to the nearest watering place. A tiger completely consumes a large animal with its skin or leaves the paws, hooves and the head. While eating, the tiger even gnaws around the tubular bones of a moose.
Having completely consumed the prey or having left part of the meat, the animal heads through its hunting territory. At first, the tiger lies down in the snow every 100-200 meters, leaving spots of blood in the snow where the tiger's body has left an impression. For this reason, it is possible to determine that the animal had recently left its kill. The tiger frequently lies down on its abdomen, urinates, defecates, scraping the snow and earth with its paw, and, having covered ten or more kilometers in this way, the tiger lies down somewhere on an area warmed by the sun that is not shaded by trees. At night, in contrast, the tiger selects for its rest a dense thicket of spruce forest, where it is several degrees warmer than in less dense stands of trees. After walking over the ice of a river, the tiger selects for a brief rest a place on the shore in a thicket that has a clear field of view of the river over a great distance, and he lies there on his abdomen, having stretched out his forepaws in front of him. Tigers, both adults and young, especially love to warm themselves in the sun for which purpose they frequently select open steep and rocky slopes covered by post-fire regrowth. After a rest which lasts 12 hours or more, the animal once again sets out on a route and only interrupts it from time to time by lying or rolling in the snow.
Photo 2. A tiger's laying place in the snow, Kolumbe River (photo by the author)
In the nature reserve, where the animals are not disturbed, they most readily make their way along the ice of streams, especially those covered over with an ice crust. But, if the snow on the ice is deep, the animal follows the shore under the shelter of conifers, since there is less snow and it is easier to walk there. The tiger continues on this route with periodic rests (but also sometimes without stopping) for several days and covers many tens of kilometers. Over the course of 24 hours, the tiger covers a distance of 20-50 km, and, according to N. A. Baikov (6), even 100 km. And the entire winter life of a solitary tiger takes place as a sequence of long journeys, each of several days duration, in devouring the prey that it has captured and in rest near the kill over the course of 5-10 days, depending on the size of the prey.
Mated animals constitute an exception to this. At this time, i.e. during the mating period, which, according to Yu. A. Salmin (11), can take place during any part of the year, but which most often falls during the winter, a male and female live on a limited section of land. And they trample this area with their paths and prints over the course of several days to such a degree that an inexperienced person might think that there is a group of ten tigers there. The site of such a "wedding" had been discovered in March 1937 at Orochenka Stream by T. Yakovlev, who was serving as a guide for a prospecting party from 'Soyuzzoloto' [the State Gold Mining Company - Transl.].
Sometimes, a tiger, having killed prey, leaves it untouched in order to return to it later. The tiger also sometimes periodically visits sites of his earlier successful hunts where his prey has been completely consumed. The sizes of the hunting territories of individuals tigers are quite large - the tiger is a born nomad.
During the winter of 1939-1940, a solitary tigress visited an area upstream along the Kolumbe River located at a distance of 58 km from its mouth; Ta-Nancha Stream at the 78-km mark of the Ternei-Sidatun track; the Nancha River (walking from the source to the mouth of the river); the Syao-Nancha River (along the Lyuchikheza and Ankheza Rivers), and she walked several times on the right side of the Kolumbe River (possibly up to Kuala Stream) and along the left side of the Iman River at the Syao-Sinancha River. The dimensions of this sector of land are not less than 60 km x 70 km.
An adult male, which had inhabited the Kema River region during the winter of 1941, was found walking along the Chima River, a left tributary of the Kema River, at a distance of 24 km from the sea (outside the nature reserve). Then he headed upstream along the Kema River and its tributary, the Ta-Kunzha River, which flows into the Kema River at a distance of 50 km from the sea. Along the Ta-Kunzha River and without making any stops, this animal headed upwards along Ivanyutin Stream in the direction of the Sikhote-Alin. Several days later, this very same tiger descended from the right side of the Kema River along Syao-Kunzha River. In order to have turned up there, the tiger had to have walked along the western slopes, traversed a sector of the basins of the Armu and Kolumbe Rivers, once again crossed over the Sikhote-Alin, descended along the Belimbe River and from there he still needed to walk along the Syao-Kunzha River to the Kema River. After this, he headed upstream along the Kema River and along the Sitsa-Slantsevaya River which flows into the Kema River (on the right) at a distance of 80 km from the sea, and he then crossed over the Sikhote-Alin Mountains once again. On January 20, he again descended along the Kema River on the right via Kuimo Stream, a tributary of the Syao-Kunzha River, also from the basin of the Belimbe River. From there, he again headed upstream along the Kema River covering a distance of 80 km, then the tiger went farther - probably to the upper reaches of this river, and five days later, on January 29, he descended along the Kema River down below Pravaya Akhte Stream. At this location, the tiger disappeared from the area covered by my investigations. Over a time period lasting approximately two months, this animal traveled all over an enormous region of taiga on both slopes of the Sikhote Alin mountains, while still mainly inhabiting the basin of the Kema River. This tiger covered a thousand or more kilometers over an area of dimensions 80 km x 40 km (and possibly even a greater distance).
Diagram 3. Diagram of the travels of a male tiger in the basin of the Kema River from the beginning of December 1940 to February 9, 1941.
During his travels, the tiger does not walk only during the night but also travels during the daytime, and he passes fresh tracks of wild ungulates or accidentally encountered animals without paying any attention to them. It may be assumed that tigers live a more settled life during the summer, not completing such enormous journeys. But along the eastern slopes during the summer and autumn of 1940, tracks of these animals were encountered at sites that are very distant from each other: in the upper course of the Kema River, at the forks of Ta-Kunzha Stream, at a distance of 22 km from the Kema River, along the upper reaches and the middle course of the Belimbe River and in the lower reaches of the Kema and Belimbe Rivers, in total at distances of 10-20 km from the sea. The number of tigers in the nature reserve is not so great that it can be thought that different animals were present at all these sites.
The exceptional ability of solitary tigers to cover an enormous area and to be in motion over a long period of time (at least during the winter) is a characteristic that has facilitated the preservation of the species up to the present time. If this animal were to be more sedentary, which in the conditions of the Sikhote-Alin is entirely permissible thanks to the abundance of food, he might have been extirpated much sooner. The usual method of winter hunting of large game with rifles is not applicable to the tiger, due to his mobility and the impossibility of catching up with the animal. "Bagging" of a tiger would only occur as a matter of chance, but a passive method [setting up a gun trap (a cocked rifle with a trip line)] had only a limited application on the hunting territory due to the rarity of the animal. Finally, I succeeded in observing that tigers usually complete their extensive movements while snow is falling. A male on which I conducted observations in the Kema River region during the winter of 1941 twice repeated this. This behavior expresses the instinctive striving of the animal to hide his tracks, which is also achieved by his enormously long journeys. Such migrations over large areas explain for the fact that hunters, seeing tracks over a short interval of time in points that are distant from each other, over-estimate the number of animals living in their district.
All the tigers inhabiting the nature reserve periodically go outside its boundaries. After walking over a given part of his hunting territory, the tiger once again moves along this same route after a certain period of time, either in the same direction or in a direction opposite to that of his earlier tracks. The "bagging" of a tiger at sites where gun traps have been set up, which is now a forbidden method, was based on this characteristic of the animal.
Tigers walk with equal readiness in Korean pine forests and spruce forests, and they also walk along open, burned-over forest areas, which are occupied by deciduous scrub forest or oak forests with hazelnuts (or filberts, Corylus sp. - Transl.). They are attracted to such areas by the large numbers of Manchurian deer and moose that live there.
The most common habitat used by tigers appears to be river valleys and Manchurian riparian forest, but they also walk in the mountains. They surmount high ridges with elevations that can reach 1,600 m, nevertheless preferring to walk across the most gently sloping relief and to cross at low saddle-points.
Females with cubs lead a somewhat different way of life. To all appearances, a tigress does not have a permanent lair, in which her offspring live for an extended period of time. Having given birth to cubs in some sort of secluded place, the mother leaves them there for as long as they are feeding solely on milk. Tiger cubs very early acquire the ability to follow the mother, at first for short distances, and then also over many kilometers. Tiger cubs that are 20-30 days old, weighing 6 or even fewer kilograms, already walk independently over the snow, and climb up trees. Two-year-old animals weighing up to 60 kg climb trees, but adults do not do this. Having left the cubs, the mother goes out hunting and, once having captured prey, she returns to the cubs and leads them after her to the meat. The mother leaves them there, where they also live while eating the prey. Small cubs up to 6 months in age are not left alone for long periods, but the mother leaves older offspring for periods of 5-6 days. And two-year-old cubs are even left alone for two weeks. If the tiger cubs are small, the mother does not transport them from place to place, but rather she brings a freshly killed prey animal to the site of a prey animal that she had brought down at an earlier time. Near Ankheza Stream, F. A. Kozin saw that the mother brought a roe deer and a wild piglet to the cubs left near a Manchurian deer that she had killed before.
The cubs trample down an extensive area near the meat, playing near the prey and gnawing around twigs and shoots during play. During this time, the tigress roams in search of new prey, completing long hunting journeys. If she does not succeed in getting meat over a long time period, which in the presence of an abundance of animals in the Ussuri taiga and with the exceptional hunting abilities of the tiger probably occurs very rarely, then the cubs, having consumed the prey that had been brought, starve and even begin to gnaw on pieces of rotten wood. In the presence of a large number of animals, especially of wild boar, tigers do not need to complete prolonged journeys, and the family can live for a long time within a limited area. Tiger hunters usually discover a litter when the mother leads the cubs to a new kill. Three-year-old cubs probably follow their mother all the time, accompanying her during hunts. In the case of younger offspring, the tiger catchers search by following the track of the female, for which purpose they walk along her track or follow on her heels until they find the offspring or until it becomes clear that the tigress is a solitary animal (i.e., one without cubs). Sometimes this requires as long as 8 days of uninterrupted walking.
A litter found by me on January 9, 1941, on the right bank of the Kema River at a distance of 46 km from the coast (in the floodplain of the river near the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River) consisted of three cubs that were several months old, each weighing about 20-30 kg, and each being about a meter in length. Among them were two cubs that, due to their difference in size, were probably a male and a female; the sex of the third animal was unknown.
Photo 3. The tracks of a tiger, which had dragged the carcass of a wild boar through the snow (photo by the author)
The litter lived for a long time at a single location within a limited area and, based on their tracks in the snow, I was able to reconstruct their life over the period of time from December 24, 1940 to January 15, 1941. Apparently, the tigress had also given birth to the cubs somewhere nearby, since in June 1940 the reserve guards V. E. Spiridonov and P. L. Kosyuk had already heard the thrice-repeated roar of a tiger (which was somewhat reminiscent of the roar of a Manchurian deer bull, only without the 'razvod' [dilution of the sound - Trans.] at the end) at a distance of 5 km from this site. Possibly, the tigress had expressed her dissatisfaction with the presence of people near her lair. Over the course of the spring and autumn of 1940 a small tiger remained near this site during this entire period. And prints which were apparently those of this tigress were seen by the reserve guards on November 8 and December 11, 1940 at a distance of 30-60 m from the barracks of 'Dal'lesa' [the Far Eastern Forestry Industry - Trans.] serving as a cordon for the nature reserve.
In this sector, the right bank of the Kema River is occupied by Korean pine-deciduous riparian forest, former logging areas, and the slopes of the low coniform hills are covered with more or less pure stands of Korean pine. To the right flows a large tributary with a spread-out basin that is approximately 20 km in length. A little lower down, also to the right, flow two small streams: Kabanii and Mud'e. At the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River stand the buildings of the former base of 'Dal'les' which had been abandoned in early spring of 1940; the guards of the nature reserve used to visit them. Over a significant length of course, the left bank of the Kema River is a steep slope which is rocky in places and which closely approaches the river. It is covered by an old burn occupied by deciduous scrub forest--consisting of oak forest, hazel (Corylus - Transl.), birch (Betula - Transl.), and, mainly, aspen (Populus - Transl.). Thick stands of winter horsetail (Equisetum hiemale - Transl.), which had attracted large numbers of the wild boar and Manchurian deer that lived there, grew along the right side of that floodplain.
The greater part of the time, the litter stayed on the right bank of the Syao-Kunzha River at the foot of a hill in Korean pine stands and only one kilometer from the barracks. The tigress was cautious and did not go far away from her offspring. But the tigress approached the houses in order to verify whether or not there were people there (there were none in fact from December 20, 1940 to January 9, 1941, when I and a guard from the reserve arrived in this area). Having left the cubs behind, the mother killed a three-year-old wild boar male at a distance of several hundred meters from the cubs and then led the cubs to it, the cubs following her in single file but taking steps that were half as long as those of the mother and drawing the snow by their side. The dimensions of the tracks of these tiger cubs were (in cm): width of the footprint--9.5, length of the footprint-10, width of the "heel" (i.e., the big sole pad)--7.5, length of the heel--7. The dimensions of the footprints of the female: width--12, length--13, width of the heel--10, length of the heel--9. The claws of the cubs were much thinner than those of the mother.
Diagram 4. The path followed by a tiger family from December 24, 1940, to January 15, 1941 in the basin of the Kema River (at the Syao-Kunzha River):
1) Path of the tigress with the cubs
2) Tracks of the tigress
The wild boar had been brought down several tens of meters from the banks of the unfrozen Syao-Kunzha River in dense thickets of cherry (Padus - Transl.) and shrubs piled up with slash. Here there was a large trampled down area which was completely invisible even at a distance of several meters to one side of this site. Paths led from it to both water and to a close cavity in the ground which seemed as though purposely barricaded with tree trunks. Here the tiger cubs played. Nearby stood a tree that had been scratched by the claws of the tiger cubs. The tigress caught a piglet at a distance of two hundred meters from the Syao-Kunzha River and carried it in her teeth to the cubs, while the piglet's carcass from time to time drew an impression in the snow to one side of the tigress' track. No tracks could be found to any side of the path, and it was only possible to discover the path along which the litter had been led to the meat from a logging trail by which we walked. The family then went for a walk, having consumed everything there [only the four feet with the skin, the bones and a small quantity of meat, the skull with the snout, part of the skin, and part of the spinal column and ribs of the wild boar and the rear feet of the piglet (bones and hooves with skin) remained].
The tigress led her litter along the left bank of the Kema River where they ascended a steep southern slope which was overgrown with thin deciduous forests and oak forests (on an old burn). Here the entire family rested in the sun, frequently dispersing along various paths. The tiger cubs played, wrestled, rolled along a steep slope in the snow, ran up and down and later on descended again toward the Kema River below the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River. There they rested on the riverbank in thickets of shrubs and probably suckled from their mother. Right there and from the walking, the tigress caught a roe deer, and the cubs ate it with only two small scraps of skin left over. The tiger cubs together with their mother walked a great deal along the Kema River and played along the riverbank at only 400 m from the huts. Then they walked downstream for two kilometers along the floodplain of the Kema River, for three kilometers along a hill-side and along the floodplain of the left bank, and after reaching the rocks near a waterfall they returned. About January 6-7, the tigress brought down a red deer bull again quite close to the huts, but she was now already on the right side of the Kema River in a Korean pine forest on an old logged site. The bull had been killed on a bare open site and then dragged over a distance of more than ten meters to some windfallen trees. Soil on which the tigress had lain was seen under their trunks. There were very many prints around it, and at a distance of 15 m from this site there was a large heavily tramped area hidden by thickets and by the trunks of fallen trees, a lot of twigs and branches of which gnawed by the cubs. Here the tiger cubs played, and the mother fed them on milk. The cubs had also bitten through branches that were found near the site where the Manchurian red deer had been killed on January 9th. When I found the Manchurian deer and the tigers located near it, the carcass had been approximately half-consumed. The tigers came once again during the night, and on the morning of January 10 I examined the carcass in detail. Only the head, the four feet with gnawed bones, one rear haunch, and part of the spine (with the ribs on one side) remained of the Manchurian deer. All the rest had been eaten. To one side lay a gnawed shoulder blade, and at 5-6 meters apart there were three piles of excrement, judging by their size, of the female. The Manchurian deer had been killed at a distance of 40-50 m from the road and at a distance of 400 m from the depot at the Syao-Kunzha River. The offspring which had been scared away from the remnants of the Manchurian deer, headed toward a hill located between Mud'e and Kuimo Streams. The most remarkable aspect was the fact that several small herds of wild boar, and also solitary wild boar, and several Manchurian deer small herds lived there in the immediate vicinity of the offspring. And yet the tigress did not frighten these prey animals away as she hunted, bringing down the animals at a distance of not more than 500 m from the offspring that she had left behind.
Apparently, the tigress carried out night hunts with exceptional ease and without making any noise. Thus, I saw quietly foraging pigs and piglets at half a kilometer from the litter of tiger cubs. The offspring repeated in miniature form the actions of a solitary adult tiger. After devouring the prey over the course of several days, they completed a walk of several kilometers in length following their mother through burned-over forest areas and walking along steep southern slopes on the left bank of the Kema River. And then they once again returned along the right bank of the Kema River to the Korean pine forest under the hill below the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River. Based on the example of this litter of offspring, I was able to realize how difficult it is to discover a tigress with cubs in the enormous territory of the nature reserve, in the abundance of ungulates, as from December 24, 1940 to January 15, 1941, they inhabited an area of less than 5 km x 3 km without leaving any footprints outside this area. On February 9, the offspring were discovered upstream along the Syao-Kunzha River at a distance of 12 km from the site where they had originally been discovered. A tigress with older cubs, naturally, travels for a greater distance.
Tigers do not always travel and hunt as solitary animals. We were able to observe three young tigers that were traveling together in 1940 along the Kema River. According to the tiger catcher, A. G. Kozin, at an earlier time, when tigers were numerous in the Far East, a group of tigers consisting of 7-13 individuals apparently comprised of several litters that had joined together was seen near the Daubikhe River.
Tigers are quite willing to prey on moose, which explains their appearance in the winters of 1937-1938, 1938-1939, and 1939-1940 along the upper reaches of the Armu and Kolumbe Rivers, in regions where these ungulates concentrate during the winter. It is quite likely that several individual tigers specialized during these years on other species of ungulates as a result of the decrease in the number of wild boar after 1935.
Tigers catch hazel grouse, just as lynx do, by stealing up to them and seizing them in the holes in the snow where the grouse spend the night.
On average, according to my data, over the course of a year one adult tiger kills and devours approximately 30 large animals each weighing 100 kg (3,000 kg live weight), or in terms of weight a corresponding number of other animals. The family on which I conducted observations in the nature reserve consisted of the tigress and three cubs, and over the course of 20 days it consumed 280 kg of meat (150 kg from a Manchurian deer, 100 kg from a wild boar, 20 kg from a piglet, and 10 kg from a roe deer). The quantity of meat cited may be taken as the average size of the ration over the course of an entire year, since it increases in the future, and it was less in the past. This constitutes 420 kg per month or 5,040 kg per year. Correspondingly, for a single member of the family these quantities are 105 kg per month and 1,260 kg per year.
Solitary tigers are always fatter, with a thick layer of fat, which is laid down not along the backbone, but on the belly and in the groin regions, in the abdominal cavity of the body and as a greater thickness of the muscles. The melted fat of a tiger is completely white with a weak, specifically "tiger" smell, and is similar in its melting temperature to pork fat.
The number of tigers present on the territory that we investigated certainly does not create any sort of negative effect on the natural rate of increase of wild boar or other ungulates. From the estimate given above it can be seen that all the tigers living here consume not more than 300-400 large animals, while at the same time, the total number of wild boar, Manchurian deer, moose, and bear in the nature reserve alone exceeds 10,000 individuals. The rapid and continual increase in the numbers of wild boar in the nature reserve since 1935 offers, in our opinion, clear support for this point of view.
Tigers on the Eastern Slopes of the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range:
During the first expeditions of V. K. Arseniev (from 1902 to 1910), tigers were found along both slopes of the mountain range in the southern, central, and northern Sikhote-Alin Mts., at least up to Samarga along the sea coast and even farther to the north. Up until 1914-1916, tigers were encountered along the eastern slope in the district of the present nature reserve as far as the coast, and tigers were taken there during this period. According to I. G. Labetskii, an old hunter, who had been living in Ternei since 1910, tigers were numerous in that year and in the following period (1911-1912) right up to the shore of the sea, both in the district of the present nature reserve and also farther to the north, right up to the Samarga River (although they were already less common there). The number of wild ungulates was quite high at that time. During winter hunts along the Sankhobe River, fresh tiger prints were seen every day, and old prints and trails were encountered literally everywhere along all the rivulets and streams. In addition, cases of encounters with the animals themselves were not rare. During these years, I. G. Labetskii, together with the Tungus hunter Dyachkovskii, hunted tigers with the aid of mounted-up latch cross-bows. And over a short period of time, five tigers fell to their arrows, four of these tigers then died from their wounds. Apparently, two of these animals were later eaten by other tigers, and not one of them was captured alive. From 1910 to 1915, the number of tigers on the eastern slopes rapidly decreased, and, beginning in 1916, they were practically absent there. During this time, four tigers were killed along the Sankhobe River (in addition to those that had died from arrows): one of them was a male killed by I. S. Kuklin upstream along the Sitsa River, one was killed by local inhabitants at a distance of 6 km from the sea, and one was killed by the hunters Polchkov and R. Derevnin along the Tun'sha River at the Fata River. The last-mentioned of these hunters had his arm bitten by the wounded tiger, for which he received the nickname "the tiger's leftovers", a name that he has kept up to the present time.
The last tiger in Ternei was killed in 1915 near the confluence of the Sitsa and Tun'sha Rivers by Dyachkovskii, I. G. Labetskii, and I. S. Kuklin. This was an adult male which was extremely emaciated, with shriveled musculature and a stomach and intestines that were completely empty. Approaching traps and the hunting cabins, he then devoured kolinsky (Siberian weasels, Mustela sibirica - Transl.), and attempted to capture dogs.
In 1914, a tigress was killed and small cubs were captured along the Takema River; they killed tigers in Belimbe. The tigers living to the south and to the north of the present territory of the nature reserve were killed, but the number of tigers killed was not big enough to lead to the extirpation of the tiger species which was rather numerous in Primor'ye during those years.
Due to the exceptional depth of the snow cover (100-150 cm), the year 1914 was critical in the life of ungulates in the central Sikhote-Alin Mts., especially for the wild boar and Manchurian deer, which are the main items in the diet of the tiger. Almost all wild boar perished, and during the 3-4 years following this year of deep snow this animal was present in extremely low in numbers. Only a few of the strongest individuals survived, having devoured their own kind (their younger and weaker conspecifics) during the snowy winter. Apparently, the Manchurian deer did not themselves perish, but their numbers were extremely reduced by hunters who had killed many animals only for the sake of their tails and the skins of the unborn fawns (embryos). Thus, approximately 1,500 Manchurian deer were killed in Dzhigit. In Tavaiza, near Ternei, only two hunters, Sedymov and I. Sakhalinets, alone killed 200 Manchurian deer and captured 16 live adult Manchurian deer bulls.
The rapid decrease in the species comprising the tiger's diet after 1914 could not fail to have a negative effect on the tiger's continued inhabiting of this region and on its later disappearance. D'yachkov's and Labetskii's killing of an extremely emaciated adult animal in 1915, which weighed only 70 (!) kg (in comparison with a normal weight of 200-250 kg) should possibly also be linked to the snowy year of 1914. In that same year (1915), I. G. Labetskii found some bodies of emaciated lynx in the forest.
At the same time, it should be noted that hunters observed a massive migration of tigers in the Ussuri district (along the Daubikhe River) in about 1913, determining the direction of this migration to have been from Manchuria to the Sikhote-Alin.
After the restoration of the numbers of wild ungulates, the fur industry development on the maritime side of the Sikhote-Alin prevented the settlement of the tigers there, their number had dropped. But it cannot be doubted that tigers disappeared on the eastern slopes prior to the time that these slopes were developed by the industry. Since 1916, tigers had completely disappeared as permanent inhabitants on the maritime side. Tigers only now and then wandered into the uppermost reaches of the streams that flow into the Sea of Japan from the western slopes where tigers have lived up to the present time. Thus, a tiger was observed in 1924 along the upper reaches of the Tun'sha River (a tributary of the Sankhobe River) along Koshkin Stream, and one was seen in 1929 in Takme along the Taratai River and the Teniguza River. Right up until the organization of the nature reserve, entries of a solitary tiger into the upper reaches of the Sankhobe-Sitsa Rivers were observed almost every winter, a phenomenon that was also observed in 1935-36 and in 1936-1937; and a tiger entered this region at the beginning of November 1940, and in February 1941.
So what are reasons for that the tigers had abandoned the eastern slopes of the Sikhote-Alin but continued to inhabit the western slopes? It is necessary to seek an explanation in the characteristics of the hunting areas and in the degree to which they have been developed. The eastern slopes are small in extent. The coastal zone is only separated from the divide by a distance of not more than 60-80 km. It has favorable conditions for transport (trails for pack animals, more frequent winters with little snow, rivers covered with frozen pools and little snow). Most importantly, there grow Korean pine forests of high quality which are the main hunting areas for squirrel and wild boar hunters, and these growings approach the Sikhote-Alin range short of only 5-10 km. The eastern slope provided at the same time the closest and the easiest route to the main sable hunting lands located along the main axis of the Sikhote-Alin and its upper western slopes. The western slopes are a broad zone of spruce forests that extend for 50 or 100 km. Korean pine forests grow only along the Iman River (also along the Bikin River and other rivers) and the lower reaches of its tributaries. The hunting ranges are separated from large settled areas by 150-200 km. Transport is possible only in a boat or sledge.
Each of the rivers flowing into the Sea of Japan accommodates up to a hundred or more hunters in its territory, and in "squirrel years" the Korean pine forests would be filled with a cannonade of rifle fire and the barking of dogs. The development of hunting lands has especially increased since 1924, in connection with the organization of state logging on the eastern slopes. During this development, roads were laid down along each of the rivers, roads that ran into the depths of the taiga for a distance of 60 or more kilometers, in the case of each logging area. Depots were organized and various buildings were constructed, and that led to the presence of at least 200 people in the district of each of the rivers during the winter and summer seasons. The logging sites were more isolated than areas having hundreds or more hunters, who would together shoot not less than 50,000 rifle shots over the course of one autumn season. But the movement of people and their activities which were related to their work in the forest have inevitably produced a frightening away of wild animals in general and, to even stronger effect, of such a rare and cautious animal as the tiger.
On the western slopes, logging was absent on the territory of the present nature reserve (with the exception of one area logged in 1931).By 1940, all logging had been discontinued on the territory of the nature reserve (with the exception of one sector--Serebryanii Stream, a tributary of the Sitsa-Sankhobe Rivers).
During the economic development of the western slopes in 1930, two large villages with a thousand people and many buildings in them were settled down at the lower reaches of the Kolumbe River. But they were situated so compactly that they were isolated from the nature reserve together with the taiga surrounding them, during the organization of the nature reserve. And, as seen from what has been explained above, the tigers adapted to the nearness of these villages.
The wide zone of spruce forests, which is the most remote and out-of-the-way part of the taiga, was visited only by sable hunters and only in the years with an intensive sable industry (1920-1932). This industry created almost no noise in the taiga. The formerly existing method of 'planks' of the Chinese which was widely used in the taiga was in the tradition of all work that is connected with noise (cutting of firewood; preparation of planks, traps, fences for roe deer, etc.) to be done during the summer, in order to avoid any noise in the area during the hunting season, when it seemed to scare away sable, kolinsky, and squirrel.
From the moment of their disappearance from the eastern slopes in 1916-1920, the tigers were forced out by the intensive economic development of the taiga into the spruce forests that were least visited by people, an area that precisely coincided with the western slopes of the Sikhote-Alin Mts. And, since this predator had already been heavily exterminated by this time and was rarely seen, the surviving individuals inhabited the upper reaches of the Iman River and other tributaries of the Ussuri River, with the tigers almost never appearing on the maritime side. It is possible that tigers were present there during the summer in an area where they did not venture to appear during the winter.
The winter conditions along the eastern slope are especially favorable for ungulates. This is explained by the abundant amount of food produced by the vegetation (within the boundaries of the nature reserve) and in general by the entire ecological complex. Therefore, the population density on the eastern slopes of the main species of ungulates--wild boar and Manchurian deer--is significantly higher than on the western slopes. This, naturally, also created the most favorable conditions for the tiger.
The orographic and climatic conditions of the two slopes in the central Sikhote-Alin are also dissimilar. Higher and steeper mountains and a warmer winter with a lower average depth of snow cover are characteristic of the maritime side (in contrast with conditions on the western slopes).
The state of the snow layer is correspondingly different on the two sides: on the eastern slopes, under the influence of a warmer winter and a strong southern sun, the thin snow cover on steep south-facing slopes where the Manchurian deer live melts and has already become solid by the start of winter. While on the western slopes with their less steep topography and a lower temperature, the snow layer, which is rarely less than 50 cm in depth, remains soft until the beginning or the middle of March. These differences in the condition of the snow cover can influence the tiger both directly, in a purely mechanical way, and indirectly during its hunts on ungulates. According to earlier observations of naturalists (Przhevalskii) and according to data from a later period (Yu. A. Salmin and our own data), it is well known that the Ussuri tiger frequently suffers injuries (cracks, sore spots) on the soles of the paws, damage that is produced by long periods of walking on snow. Blood flows more often from the paws of females, and sometimes hunters determine the sex of the animal by using this characteristic, although it is more reasonable to expect injuries in the case of solitary animals taking long journeys. In the winter, I encountered blood in the prints of almost all tigers, both males and females. Such injuries might appear more often on hard snow that had been melted by the sun than on soft, deep snow. At the same time, stalking prey, in particular solitary ungulates, is also easier in soft and deep snow (vs. hard or thin snow). Nevertheless, this does not provide a significant advantage, and in winters with a great deal of snow there are practically no differences in the condition of the snow cover [ on the two slopes. -Transl.]The depth of the snow cover in the conifer middle-dense stands toward the end of winter in 1940 were the following:
At the mouth of the Kolumbe River................................................36 cm
At the mouth of the Ankheza River.................................................25 cm
In the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River....................................35 cm
In the upper reaches of the Armu-Nantsa (Sikhote-Alir) Rivers..40 cm
At the "Sanchaza" fork of the Armu River.....................................35 cm
At the mouth of Bailaza Stream along the Armu River..................55 cm
At the mouth of the Armu River.......................................................60 cm
At the Tatibe River.................................................. approximately 55 cm
It is necessary to note one feature of the distribution of the snow cover along the Iman River. While the depth of the snow layer annually reaches 50 cm or more in the district of the lower reaches of the Tatibe, Armu, and Ta-Sinancha Rivers (and always requires the use of skis), the snow depth has never exceeded 20-25 cm (and allowed one to make do without skis during the course of the entire winter) in the district of the Lyuchikheza and Ankheza Rivers. At least, this was true over the course of the last ten years (since 1929), from the moment of the foundation of the settlement in Laulyu, the inhabitants of which hunted upstream along the Iman River.
On the entire eastern slope, the snow depth was not more than 10 cm in the winter of 1939, with the south-facing slopes being completely bare (excluding a zone located 5-10 km to the east of the Sikhote-Alin, where the depth of the snow cover fluctuated from 60-40 cm to 15 cm while going down the slope). And over the course of the entire winter, forest fires were observed near the coast. In comparison with the Iman side, extremely favorable conditions for wintering for the wild boar arose on the eastern side, but we did not observe any migrations of wild boar.
The winter of 1940-1941 was one of much snow. By February 12, 1941, i.e., when our second "tiger expedition" through the nature reserve was ending, and the snow cover had probably not yet reached its full depth, the snow depth amounted to 40 to 50 cm in the belt of Korean pine forests along the eastern slopes. But along the ridges, the snow depth was 60 cm at 600-700 m above sea level. By March 10, the snow depth had reached up to 85 cm in areas of burned-over forest that were as far as 25 km from the sea.
While wintering each year since 1937 in a remote part of the nature reserve (in the upper reaches of the western slopes), we had the opportunity to observe how the tigers successfully expanded their local range and how they took over lands that they had not occupied earlier in the year after the establishment of peace and quiet and after the disappearance of people from the territory of the nature reserve. In February 1938, I saw the tracks of a solitary tiger which had been hunting moose at a distance of only several kilometers from the mountain pass on the eastern slope in the upper reaches of the Nantsa River (a tributary of the Armu River), where according to local hunters tiger prints had not been seen for a long time--for over 20 years. In December 1938, we once again succeeded in observing the prints of a solitary tiger along the upper reaches of the Nantsa River. On this occasion, the tiger descended (over a five-day period) along the upper reaches of the Ta-Kunzha River, a tributary of the Kema River, and once again departed going downward along the Nantsa River. At the same time, I encountered the prints of a solitary tiger along the upper reaches of the Kolumbe River, where according to local hunters tigers had been absent during the winter for a long time. In January 1939, I discovered the footprints of a tigress with cubs that had been born in 1938 along the upper reaches of the Nantsa River at a distance of 35-40 km from the Sikhote-Alin. In February 1940, a group of tigers which included a female, her three-year-old offspring and a male, appeared along the middle course of the Kema River. They had arrived from the basin of the Armu River along the Nantsa River and tributaries of the Beitsa - Deupikhe and Chanza Rivers. Possibly, these were the very same animals (but already grown up) whose tracks I saw at the beginning of 1939.
As we were able to establish, by 1940 several animals which had appeared along the eastern slopes, also continued to walk along their former "estates" on the western slopes. Thus, on February 25, 1940, while accompanying F. A. Kozin along the upper reaches of the Armu-Nantsa Rivers coming from the Iman River side (along the Kolumbe River), we discovered that a large, solitary tiger had descended along a path along Ta-Nantsa Stream between January 22 and February 6. Lower down along the Armu River, we encountered his tracks going in two different directions, with the prints made later clearly dating to the beginning of February. Investigations in 1941 supported the conclusion that solitary animals, abandoning the borders of the nature reserve, complete extensive journeys along the eastern and western slopes. But since the winter of 1940 tigers have begun permanently to inhabit the eastern slopes (along the middle course of the basins of the Kema and Belimbe Rivers).
Reserve guards from the Kema sector did not see any tiger tracks on a route from Yasnaya Polyana up to the coast on December 15, 1939; on a route from Kema along Tantsa Stream to the upper reaches of the Nantsa River (a tributary of the Armu River) on January 22; neither on having been stationed at a depot of Dal'les[the Far Eastern State Forestry Industry - Transl.] at the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River (located 46 km from the sea) up until January 26, 1940. Having arrived on February 12th on the Syao-Kunzha River, they went upstream toward Yasnaya Polyana on February 16th and saw the first tiger prints at a distance of 55 km from the sea, above the "larger" waterfall on the Kema River. Here a young female tiger had descended along the ice and then reversed her path. Higher up on the ice, there were many prints of walking, running and leaping, and the impressions of the bodies of three animals that had rolled in the snow, and that had been walking together. Continuing farther upstream along the Kema River on sledges, somewhat below the Teniguza, along the left bank of the Kema River, near Izyubrinii Stream, the guards observed two animals which they took to be wolves that were leaping as they ran along a steep hillside that was free of snow. Having left the horses on the ice, the guards ran off toward the mouth of Izyubrinii Stream (outside the nature reserve), the valley of which at this place is a narrow canyon between steep slopes. To his surprise, V. E. Spiridonov saw a tiger which was calmly examining him from a hillside at a distance of 12 m from him. V. E. Spiridonov let off two shots from an Enfield 303 rifle to bring the tiger down and killed the animal by shooting in the head. It was a three-year-old male. Meanwhile the first two tigers that were located higher on the slope after seeing the people had started to run. The male which was following in their footprints had fallen behind, where located in the narrow valley of a stream he could not see or hear the approach of people. From the trustful behavior of this tiger, it can be assumed that he had not yet encountered people, and had grown up in the remote areas of the nature reserve along the upper reaches of the Armu-Beitsa Rivers.
These were the same tigers whose prints were observed at the waterfall; two of them were smaller, and the larger one was the one killed. These were either three young three-year-olds or one of them was an adult tigress, since later they followed the tracks made by the sledge on which the tiger that had been killed was transported. These three animals had descended along the Pravaya Akhte Stream, walking onto the ice of the Kema River near the burn on spur between Pravaya Akhte and Teniguza Streams.
Continuing upward toward Yasnaya Polyana on the same day (February 16), the guards discovered the approximately week-old tracks of a large tiger (probably male), which had emerged from the right bank of the Kema River above Pravaya Akhte Stream and had departed upstream across the ice to Yasnaya Polyana. Two days later, on February 18, this same animal descended from Yasnaya Polyana along the river, going along a road built for sledges, and emerged onto the left bank of the Kema River in the district of Teniguza. At this time, several large herds of wild boar crossed over from the right bank of the Kema River to the left bank, and the tiger followed in the footsteps of one of them. On that same day, two tigers (one of which was larger, with the other being substantially smaller) emerged somewhat below the mouth of Pravaya Akhte Stream, and they left together, also following the tracks of wild boar to the left bank of the Kema River.
In February 1940, six tigers appeared all at once along the middle course of the Kema River (as determined by the guard, V. E. Spiridonov); one of these tigers was later killed. In March 1940, the solitary travels of a small tiger across the Kema River were noted along the Kema River below the nature reserve and along the borders of the reserve (at a distance of 27-40 km from the sea). But beginning from the "larger" waterfall, no fresh tracks were present over the course of 54 km. In April, tiger prints were observed at the depot at Syao-Kunzha, and over the course of the summer tiger tracks were observed along the Kema River at "Vorota" [i.e., the "Gates" - Transl.] and at Cheitlinova pad' [pad' - a forested river valley - Transl.], only at 10-12 km from the sea. The guard V. E. Spiridonov observed the tracks of tigers in September on a path in the district of Teniguza and Akhte Streams. A geological exploration party under the command of V. K. Eliseeva which had worked in the nature reserve also saw tracks along the Ta-Kunzha River, along Sukhoi Stream and near forks located at 22 km from the Kema. At this time, there was also a tiger present along the Chima River, a tributary of the Kema River. Finally, in October 1940, the same V. E. Spiridonov once again encountered tiger tracks along the Belimbe River, along Spravtsev Stream, above Malinovii Stream, which flows into the former stream from the left at a distance of 20 km from the sea. At the very same time, the same geological exploration party saw tracks upstream along the Belimbe River from Chetvyortyi Stream up to Zolotoi Stream, and even farther upstream.
In the summer the tigers expanded their local range here. But during the autumn and winter seasons, they retreated into the depths of the refuge, almost never emerging beyond the boundaries of the nature reserve, the border of which runs here at distances of 36-44 km from the sea (i.e., exactly along the zone of Korean pine forests).
In the winter of 1941, as has already been mentioned, in the Kema River region I discovered a tigress (with three cubs several months old) that had lived near the mouth of the Syao-Kunzha River, and an adult male, which had completed a journey along the Armu River (the Beitsa and Nantsa Rivers), along the Kolumbe and Belimbe Rivers, but mainly along the Kema River, where he walked from Chima up to the upper reaches of the Kema River, along the Kuimo, Syao-Kunzha, and Ta-Kunzha Rivers (all tributaries of the Kema River). And his path ran from time to time near the site at which the tiger family was located (cf., the diagram on page 32 of the Russian original). Moreover, a pair of tigers which were traveling together was observed in Belimbe.
The appearance of tigers, who became permanent inhabitants on the eastern slopes of the Sikhote-Alin where they had been absent for not less than 20-25 years, was the effect of the existence of the nature reserve which has been felt only five years after its organization.
Relationship to humans and domestic animals:
In the upper reaches of the Iman River, tigers live in the immediate vicinity of people. Here the large village of Sidatun is located opposite the mouth of the Kolumbe River. The village of Verkhnii Khutor (Khantun) existed until 1937, being located at a distance of 15 km upstream along the Iman River, where now are several vacant houses of the nature reserve and extensive meadowlands. Along the right lower tributaries of the Kolumbe River, there are two large settlements with several thousand people, and along the Kolumbe River itself, two staging depots, "Soplivaya Sopka" and "Nizhnii Sklad", are located at distances of 9 km and 15 km from the mouth of the river. All these inhabited sites are 8-10 km from each other and constantly connected in winter by sledge roads. During both winter and summer, these sites resound with factory sirens and the deafening explosions produced in the mining of ore. These sounds can be heard at a radius of up to 40 km.
Tigers often cross roads, even during the daytime, or they walk along sledge roads, or, in summer, along trails. In the summer season of 1939 one tiger was twice encountered on a trail near "Soplivaya Sopka", and it was observed at a distance of 20-30 m, in one case by the junior guard of the nature reserve, F. A. Kozin, and the second time by the director of the zone, Comrade Didyuk. These animals had apparently already become habituated to the proximity of inhabited sites and to people, and did not pay any attention to them.
In November 1939, a small tigress entered the open door of a vacant home in Verkhnii Khutor, and then jumped out of a window (communication from I. Trofimov, a resident of Laulyu). In summer, F. A. Kozin often saw the prints of a tiger, which had traveled along a street among the houses of the abandoned village of Verkhnii Khutor. On February 1, 1940, a large male walked during the middle of the day (where he could be seen by everyone) at a distance of half a kilometer from the houses of Verkhnii Khutor, through the meadows and across the plowed soil, and along a haymakers trail.
The tigers that had appeared along the eastern slopes in the Kema River region very often stayed near a old depot of Dal'les located near the Syao-Kunzha River and even approached to within 60-30 m of the house where our naturalists lived. In their absence, the tigers even looked in the windows. They went past the old huts along the Ta-Kunzha River, which the animals had generally ceased to fear (and Manchurian deer even entered such huts). On January 24, 1941, a male tiger boldly walked along the ice past some structures built in 1938 on the shore of the Kema River at Yasnaya Polyana. And on January 29, 1941, when I myself lived there, he merely circled it at a distance of only 100 m from the shore. Finally, a family of tigers on which I conducted observations lived only half a kilometer from the inhabited huts. In summer and autumn, horses owned by a guard grazed near these huts. And the tigers which were present in the immediate vicinity did not bother them, although, for example, snow fell on the night of November 8, 1940, and in the morning V. E. Spiridonov saw the prints of a tiger that had followed the horse's tracks. During the summer and fall of 1940, a geological exploration party, which had been working in the Ta-Kunzha and Belimbe River areas, pastured its horses in the taiga at a site where tigers were living without the tigers having even attempted to carry out an attack. Only in September 1940, near Pravaya Akhte Stream, did a horse owned by a guard (V. E. Spiridonov) sense the tiger, so frightened by this that it ran for 20 km without stopping until it reached the depot at Syao-Kunzha.
During the course of at least two decades, there has not been a single case of an attack by a tiger on anyone living along the Iman River, as was also true for the entire Far East region. Attempts by tigers to prey on domestic livestock were extremely rare and occurred only in places that were both densely populated and lacking in wild ungulates. Attacks by tigers on people belong to the realm of history at the present time, since the individuals from present population of tigers frequently come into contact with humans and are very cautious, avoiding direct encounters. And in earlier years such situations had been extremely rare as well and taken place only during massive migrations of these animals from Eastern Manchuria into the Ussuri krai, when tigers passed by densely populated areas that had few wild animals. Such was the case in 1913, when, according to A. G. Kozin, there was a "nomadic tiger that had come from China lands". V. K. Arseniev presented evidence of migration of tigers and indicated is direction: "According to him (i.e., Dersu), tigers moved from the west to the east during two successive winters twenty years ago (in 1886 -L. K.). All tiger prints went in the same direction. According to him, this was a massive movement of tigers from the Sungarii province into the Sikhote-Alin". But the tiger perhaps fears man to the least degree of all large terrestrial mammals of our fauna, and not exposing itself to danger, sometimes behaves very boldly, but not dangerously for humans.
Even during the capture of tiger cubs, when the offspring are taken away from their mother, the tigress does not attack a man. Not a single case of such an unfortunate incident has occurred during the capture of cubs in the Russian Far East since 1911, despite the fact that hundreds of litters have been captured during this period.
Only K. Plyater-Plokhitskii (9) reports that a tiger abducted a Korean woman and her baby in 1931 near the village of Arkhara (in the basin of the Bureya River). However, this author did not indicate the source of this information.
A tiger presents an actual deadly threat only: 1) during the pursuit of an injured tiger that is lying down; 2) during an approach toward an animal that has been cornered by dogs; 3) during an unexpected approach to within a short distance of small cubs; 4) during a careless or unexpected approach to a tiger during the night. At night, a tiger is much braver and behaves more boldly toward to a human.
The sole domestic animals perishing here from the teeth of a tiger are hunting dogs. Only a few dogs will go after a tiger, namely only those belonging to a good breed of dog (a husky, or laika). Having come upon the fresh prints of a tiger, such a dog will chase after it just as it would after the tracks of any other animal. The tiger, which possesses very acute senses of hearing, smell, and sight, hears the approach of a dog from a great distance and lies down. The approaching dog is instantaneously seized by the tiger, which makes an unexpected spring and kills it. During such a situation, good hunting dogs sometimes perish in the presence of the hunters. Thus, a very good male dog and a bitch belonging to A. A. and F. A. Kozin perished in December 1938 at the Syao-Sinancha River. And a male dog that belonged to me (and which I had brought from Western Siberia) perished in December 1939 along the upper reaches of the Armu-Nantsa Rivers.
A dog that has succeeded in discovering a tiger before the tiger springs at him has already become difficult for the tiger to catch. This is the basis for hunting an adult tiger with dogs. The hunters follow the tracks of the tiger while leading the dogs on leashes and, upon reaching the entirely fresh prints of the tiger or having frightened the tiger away from his prey, they shoot in the air. The tiger fears shots from a rifle and rushes away. At this time, the dogs are released from their leashes, they catch up with the tiger while it is running away. While not approaching too closely, they stop the tiger, and the hunters approach and shoot the animal. The approach should be very cautious, since the tiger, having observed the presence of a man, no longer pays any attention to the dogs and swiftly rushes at the hunter. And it would be very difficult to ward off such an attack.
In earlier times, when tigers were more numerous in the Far East, the well-known hunter and tiger catcher, A. G. Kozin, killed several adult tigers while hunting with dogs. In general, however, adult animals are mainly "bagged" with a gun trap [a cocked rifle attached to a trip wire -Transl.], as was also mentioned by Yu. A. Salmin. Sometimes, usually at night, tigers prey on dogs taken directly from a hunting camp or near cabins. One tigress, after her cubs had been taken from her "near Chup" behaved very boldly during the autumn of 1936 along the upper reaches of the Iman River. At first, the tigress had been aroused during the evening near Ankheza Stream by a dog owned by F. A. Kozin, and after he had attempted a shot (which was unsuccessful), she departed. But then later, when it was already getting dark, she unsuccessfully attempted several times to seize this dog. Under the cover of night and of the forest thicket, she approached the hunter, coming close to him, but she manifested no aggressive intentions. The tigress followed in the footsteps of people and, for a second time, attempted during the course of the night to catch one of the dogs belonging to the Kozin brothers, who were spending the night in a cabin at the mouth of Ankheza Stream. She spent the entire night near the cabin (the dogs had been taken inside), and approaching the cabin to within a not less than 200 m, the tigress trampled down a new trail at this distance from the cabin.
Usually tigers (including those animals that I have encountered) upon sighting a human (obviously not "eye to eye", which would be a very rare occurrence), either pay no attention to him, or the tiger follows his tracks for a while out of curiosity. Or else the tiger crosses the person's path several times, trying to go around him and to observe him from the forest thicket without being noticed, and then the tiger departs on his way. If a tiger pursues a person by following his tracks over a long period, this is usually caused by the presence of dogs. An animal that I had wounded, which had later been encountered at night in an open area (on the ice of a river), hurriedly hid itself in the forest without manifesting any aggressive intentions.
Photo 4. The prints of a tiger and the prints of a wolf in the snow. Kema River, 1941. (photo by the author)
A tigress having lost her cubs (especially when the cubs are very young), follows people carrying them. But, as indicated above, many years of experience with this type of hunt did not record even a single unfortunate incident. Two-year-old or older tiger cubs are abandoned immediately, and after they have been captured, the tigress does not return.
Interactions with other predators:
According to A. G. Kozin, wolves disappear in those localities where tigers appear, since tigers aggressively hunt them. In the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, wolves appeared in large numbers at remote sites in the montane taiga beginning in 1935 along the eastern slopes and since the years 1938-1939 on the western slopes. At the beginning of winter, I could observe the tracks of several wolves that had passed up and down along the Kolumbe River, but after a solitary tigress settled down along the middle course of this river, the wolves no longer came there. In the winter of 1940, a pair of wolves, while walking upstream along the ice on the Kema River, came upon the tracks of a tiger. The pair immediately turned around and went back . These facts may be taken as evidence of one of the positive roles of the tiger with respect to the preservation of ungulates in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve.
During the winter of 1941, along with the tigers that were living in the areas near the Kema and Belimbe Rivers, I also encountered wolves, though only a few. Both species were so few in number in comparison with the enormous area that they might almost never encounter each other. I saw the tracks of a wolf that had followed upon the heels of a tiger (cf., page 40 in the Russian original), but I nowhere observed a hunt by the tiger on the wolf. Wolves often passed over the ice of the Kema River near the site where a tiger family was located.
The bear also serves as food for the tiger, but at the same time, it is necessary to note the appearance of a distinctive sort of commensalism. Thus, A. A. and F. A. Kozin observed during autumn, when snow was already on the ground, the almost uninterrupted pursuit of a small tigress by a very large bear, which took place above the Iman River. This animal, apparently, finished off the remains of the tigress's prey. Having observed the movements of the tigress, the guards two days later saw the impressions of the paws of this same animal which had followed after the tigress. According to an Iman tiger catcher, Trifon Kalugin, such cases are not uncommon. A large bear, having found small tiger cubs at a kill in the absence of their mother, sometimes kills them.
I observed that the yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula - Transl.) follows the tiger over a distance of tens of kilometers. Probably, it also takes advantage of the remains of the tiger's kill.
Finally, a tiger is always accompanied at its kill by flocks of ravens (Corvus corax - Transl.) and crows (Corvus sp. - Transl.), and hardly has the predator gone away to rest before they settle down onto the meat. The presence of the birds facilitates the discovery of the killed animal and precisely determines the site where the prey lies and where the tiger can be found.
Measurements of the Body and Skull of the Tiger
Male, 16.02.1940, Velikaya Kema
Female, No. S-34855, date: 1938
Female, No. S-29664, date: 1939
Total Weight (kg)
160 145.75 99.5 Weight of the carcass [without the skin, internal organs, subcutaneous fat, or internal fat] (kg)
110.9 - - Skin (kg)
10 - - Fat (kg)
30 - - Internal Organs (kg)
10 - - Body Length (cm)
170 169 166 Height at the Shoulders (cm)
85 - - Height at the Sacrum [with leg extended] (cm)
100 - - Tail (cm)
97 88 87.5 Rear foot (cm)
34 34.5 31.8 Front foot [from the fifth digit](cm)
18 - - Front Leg [from the elbow] (cm)
54 - - Rear Leg [from the knee] (cm)
65 - - Circumference of the wrist (cm)
30 - - Width of the Front Paw (cm)
15 - - Ear (cm)
9.5 - - Total Length of the Skull (mm)
280 285 271 Width of the Malar Arch (mm)
195 197 190 Distance between the Orbits (mm)
55 59 54 Length of the Upper Canine [from the rear part of the alveolus] (mm)
42 52.5 43 Length of the Lower Canine [from the rear part of the alveolus] (mm)
42 44 36 Length of the Upper Row of Teeth (mm)
65 64 64 Length of the Lower Row of Teeth (mm)
60 57 47
I present the dimensions of three tigers (Table 2) from the Far East from the collection of Moscow University's museum (cf., page 41 of the Russian original).
Some Morphological Data:
The tiger specimen that I obtained was killed by the senior guard of the Ternei section of the nature reserve, V. E. Spiridonov, along the Kema River at distance of 60 km from the sea on February 16, 1940. Unfortunately, I found the specimen to have already been skinned, and the carcass to have been chopped up. Therefore, it was almost impossible to carry out measurements and other types of investigations. The animal that had been killed was one of three young tigers that had been traveling together and which were apparently three-years-old. Two of them were female and significantly smaller in size (and with a small footprint), but the tiger that had been killed was a male.
In the case of the male (cf. Table 2), the teeth were small and white. The very small head (and, correspondingly, the small dimensions of the skull) draws attention to itself in comparison with the large size of the body. This apparently is a feature of the age-associated variation of tigers at that age (3-4 years old). With regard to body size and to the massiveness of its frame, this animal, which is essentially still a cub, equals to the average for an adult female. The animal was very well-fed. A large amount of fat was located on the belly, in the groin and in body cavities and everywhere there were streaks of fat in the muscles. His meat appeared very light in color, being reminiscent of the average level of fat on a pig. The total weight of the fat taken from the carcass was about 30 kg. Tiger fat resembles pig fat with respect to its melting point and in the consistency of the melted fat. It was white with a slight specific "tiger" odor which somewhat resembled that of wild boar.
The tiger cubs from the litter from which a male had been killed had probably only been traveling without the mother for one year. And possibly they had not yet caught any prey by themselves, since an old female with a small cub was living not far away. The fur was relatively short, though somewhat shaggy, being 50 mm in length along the spine and 30 mm along the sides, of an ochreous-yellow color that was somewhat more intense along the spine and paler on the belly. On a yellow background, there were laid down narrow and sparse, matt-black or black-brown stripes, which numbered about 15 stripes along each side. Several of these stripes were doubled, with many of the stripes not reaching the middle area of the animal's side. A longer, dingy-white fur with dark-gray stripes was present on the abdomen. There were 9 incomplete rings on the tail with a gray spot on a dark background on the dorsal part of the tail.
I saw two specimens of Far Eastern tigers in the collection of the Zoological Museum of Moscow State University, which had been received in 1939. One of them had been taken along the lower Amur River, while the other was from the basin of the Ussuri River. Both were females in their winter coats. One was fully adult with a weight of 145 kg, while the other was a young animal, which weighed 100 kg. Both these animals have a reddish hue and are more brightly and intensely colored than the young male from the district of the nature reserve. In the central Sikhote-Alin, the hunters differentiate between large animals that are brightly colored and have long winter fur and animals of smaller size that have a small footprint and brightly and intensely colored short winter fur. The adult male that was killed in the winter of 1940 along the Iman River weighed 203 kg, and the male that had been killed in the summer of 1940 weighed approximately 240 kg. The males considerably exceed the weight of the females, and the majority of females that have been killed in recent years along the Iman River weighed about 130 kg.
Photo 5. The skin of a three-year-old male Ussuri tiger, which had been killed by the senior guard of the Ternei section of the nature reserve, V. E. Spiridonov, on 16.II.1940 along the Kema River at a distance of 60 km from the sea. The skin had been brought by L. G. Kaplanov to Moscow in 1941. (photo by D. M. Vyazhlinskii)
Photo 6. Tiger prints in mud, Ta-Kunzha River (photo by the author)
In the zoological literature there are also indications of especially large, lightly-colored tigers with long fur, which had been found along the Amur River and in the Ussuri province. These animals are probably only an extreme type that falls within the range of individual variability of the Amur tiger (Panthera (Punthera) tigris longipilis Fitzinger).
The dimensions of tiger prints, according to my observations, were:
February 1, 1940, Khantun village, the upper Iman River, on a thin layer of snow over ice:
Length (cm): Width (cm):
Front paw 17 18
Big sole pad (or "heel"). 10 12
(of the front paw)
Rear paw............................ 16 18
Big sole pad......................... 11.5 ....11
(of the rear paw)
Length of stride = 70-80 cm
Rear foot = 39 cm
January 1941; Kema:
On a road: width = 12 cm; length =15 cm
On soft snow: 16 cm x 16 cm
On freshly-fallen snow: width = 17 cm
Winter of 1940, along the Kolumbe River:
Length (cm): Width (cm):
Front paw 13 12.5-14
Big sole pad (or "heel") 7.3 8
Length of stride = 67-76 cm
Winter of 1941, along the Kema River:
Length (cm): Width (cm):
Front Paw: 13 12
Big solePad: 9 10
(of the front paw)
Winter of 1941, along the Kema River:
Length (cm): Width (cm):
Front paw 10 9.5
Big sole pad (or "heel") 7 7.5
Dimensions of the impressions of the cub's body in the snow (made using a measuring tape):
Female: body length including the head = 175 cm
(palkoi [a stick - Transl.]) = 170 cm
tail length = 100 cm
Male: body length not including the head
(where the cub rolled around in the snow) = 180 cm with the diameter of the haunch (the cub had rolled himself into a ball) = 95 cm
body length when he lay on his stomach
(in the "Sphinx" position) = 171.5 cm
Living tigers in general, and Ussuri tigers in particular, have an enormous value and enjoy an unlimited demand on the part of zoos and menageries in the Soviet Union. At the present time, the utilization of the population of this extremely valuable economic species that is surviving in the wild should be considered to be wrong. The insignificant number of Far Eastern tigers that are surviving in the wild is noticeably decreasing. The entire natural increase in the population has been captured. The remaining adult individuals grow aged and become incapable of reproducing. Another remarkable fact is the discovery of a dead adult tiger in the nature reserve, one that perished possibly from some sort of epizootic infection.
Adult animals, although they too are rare, are also killed, and so the population which would be insignificant in numbers even without this factor decreases still further. In the winter of 1939-1940, 3 tigers were killed throughout the entire Far East (in the central Sikhote-Alin), and two tiger cubs were captured (in Birobidzhan). Other two tigresses were killed in Birobidzhan in the winter of 1940-1941.
The Ussuri tiger stands on the brink of total extinction. Meanwhile, the Ussuri tiger not only can be, but also must be preserved as an organic part of the wild fauna. And this is the obligation of our generation, if we do not wish that this animal be added to the list of large mammals that have only recently disappeared from the face of the earth, and if we do not wish to add to the long series of animals driven to extinction by man.
While it is true that the annual value of the food eaten by an adult tiger (the meat of wild animals) reaches up to 12,000 rubles for dressed meat, and for a tiger cub (up to one year in age) more than 5,000 rubles, the value of the tiger cannot be considered solely from a materialistic point of view. It is necessary to take into account the enormous scientific and cultural significance of the preservation of the species in the wild state. Having once destroyed the tiger, we cannot resurrect it at any price. The animals on which the tiger feeds are present in unlimited numbers.
In the sparsely populated districts of the upper Iman River and in other parts of the Far East, and still more so in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, the tiger poses absolutely no danger either to people or to domestic animals. The number of wild ungulates in these areas of the Soviet Union is so great that the tigers that are present can have no harmful influence on the natural rate of increase in the numbers of wild boar, Manchurian deer, moose and other species. On the contrary, the tigers' presence will act as a factor of natural selection, improving the quality of the herd.
Large predators of the cat family (Felidae) can be entirely harmless to humans in the conditions of a nature reserve with its large number of wild ungulates. This perspective is supported by the practical experience of many African nature reserves, and, in particular, by the experience of Kruger Park Nature Reserve in the Union of South Africa, where, on an area of 22,000 km2, hundreds of lions live, and where numerous tourists can observe them on a daily basis at short distances from the lions.
The following actions need to be taken for the conservation and restoration of the tiger population:
1) Forbid the killing and capture of tigers in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve for a period of 6 years.
2) Add to the protected zone of the nature preserve the sector on the left bank of the Kema River from Levaya Akhte Stream (located 65 km from the sea) to Funlaza Stream (located 42.5 km from the sea) and the area to the north along the watershed together with the Chima River, a total of 20,000 hectares.
3) Forbid the killing and capture of tigers throughout the entire Far East for a period of 5 years.
The conservation of the tiger only in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve will not produce the necessary results, since individual animals constantly go outside the boundaries of the nature reserve, and only a ban on hunting the tiger throughout the whole basin of the Iman River (including the Vaku River), the Bikin River, and the coastal area from Tetyukhe to Khutsin would allow an increase in the number of tigers within the boundaries of the nature reserve. The length of time that the ban should be in effect should be such that young tigers that are present now or that might be present in the future reach sexual maturity and produce offspring in their turn. Upon the reaching of sexual maturity by the tigers (at an age of 4-5 years), the ban should be set at 5-7 years for the entire Far East.
Having become familiar with the conditions of existence of tigers along the Kema River in 1941, I became convinced that it is necessary to add a sector of area 20,000 hectares along the left bank of the Kema River to the protected zone of the nature reserve in order to preserve the animals that have settled along the Kema River. The nature reserve passes here along the right bank of the Kema River at a distance of 44 km from the sea, but along the left bank its border lies at a distance of 65 km from the sea, and there is a significant projection of land in which hunters might be able to force their way by the left bank of the Kema River, going deep into the nature reserve (which encompasses the upper reaches of the Kema River). The right side of the Kema River within the boundaries of the nature reserve consists mainly of Korean pine stands and Manchurian riparian forest with dense thickets of horsetail, which attract numerous wild boar and Manchurian deer in the wintertime. The left bank consists of steep rocky slopes, which extend right up to the Kema River, and it is covered with old burned-over areas and thin deciduous forests. Solitary tigers, when making their path along the ice of the river, often emerge onto the left bank of the Kema River. Young tigers often emerge onto the steep slopes of the left bank and warm themselves in the sun, where they can be directly shot by someone standing on the river ice. The fact that this danger is quite real is attested by the killing of one of the tigers that had just appeared there in the winter of 1940.
Adult animals can, without any effort, be killed by "gun traps" (cocked rifles attached to trip wires) set up on the river ice or at cliffs near waterfalls, and this possibility has already been taken into account by local hunters. A litter of cubs being located at the very borders of the nature reserve is subjected to the danger of being captured or killed whenever the cubs go beyond the boundaries of the nature reserve.
The sector that is proposed for addition to the nature reserve is of no economic value either for the logging industry or for the squirrel-hunting or wild boar hunting industries. The performance of conservation activities would be considerably simplified by this realignment of the boundaries of the reserve.
The number of adult tigers that are able to live in the nature reserve without negatively affecting the natural rate of increase and replenishment of the numbers of ungulates can be calculated to be 12-16 individuals, which will produce 2-3 litters annually (calculating one litter in three years for each pair) to give a total number of 5-7 tiger cubs. This number of young animals can be removed each year by tiger hunters, thus maintaining the number of tigers in the nature reserve at the same level. With an immediate introduction of a ban on this species, one of the most rare and most interesting representatives of our fauna and one of the most valuable objects of the hunting industry will be preserved. The tigers will be an excellent centerpiece for the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve, and in the same time after a few years have gone by will create a significant economic effect.
According to experimental data, up to 10% of a population can be harvested annually without threatening the productivity of the population (7). A census of the solitary tigers in the nature reserve is not difficult and should be organized annually in the following way. During the second half of the winter, in January-February, approximately ten days after a snowfall, in clear weather and simultaneously throughout the entire nature reserve, naturalists ought to complete routes along the main river "highways" from the border of the reserve to the Sikhote-Alin, in order to unite their paths there. Due to features of the tigers' way of life, practically all animals will be discovered with this method, and their numbers will be determined by collecting records of the dimensions and directions of the tracks. It will be considerably more difficult to discover litters. For this, the most experienced naturalists are needed, and the tracks of a tigress that had frequently been observed in a given district in the previous year will serve as an indicator for the sites where they should search.
For the capture of animals, we should not employ people of all sorts, but should perhaps form a permanent brigade of tiger catchers comprised of naturalists and scientific workers from the nature reserve as well as experienced hunters, knowledgeable about the techniques and the practical aspects of the matter, and also versed in the way of life of tigers (as well as being knowledgeable about the nature reserve and the locations of birthing sites of the animals).
Adult animals which would appear in surplus in the nature reserve should also not be subject to hunt, in the conditions of the nature reserve this would not present any special difficulty. Given the incomparable value of the living species, the tigers could be caught in a trap using live bait, and only for the great scientific institutions of the Soviet Union (the Zoological Museum of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and the Zoological Museum of Moscow University), and if there appear any surplus or dangerous individuals, they can be killed for scientific collections. The number of tigers and the determination of the time period for the capture of tiger cubs in the nature reserve should be regulated only by the scientific department of the reserve, and permission to capture tigers should be given, based on the submit of the relevant data, only by the Central Directorate for Nature Reserves, Zoos, and Zoological Gardens.
February 10, 1941
Shandui mountain lakes
Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve
Observations of tiger prints made during the winter season of 1939-1940 and subsequent periods:
(Observations are arranged according to individual river basins in chronological order.)
1. Kolumbe River and the upper Iman River within the boundaries of the nature reserve:
1. XI. 1939, at a site 24 km upstream from Sidatun going along the Iman River, on the left side of the river, prints of a male tiger.
1. XII. 1939, along the right side of the Iman River, 4 km upstream from Sidatun, prints of a female walking along a path for a distance of 15 km (up to Khantun khutor).
2. XII. 1939, along the Iman River, between Khantun khutor and Ankheza, along the right side, tracks of a male.
21.XII. 1939, at the headwaters of the Ta-Nancha River, at the 72-km mark along the trail between Ternei and Sidatun, tracks of a male.
22.XII. 1939, Syao-Nancha River, at the 97-km mark along the trail between Ternei and Sidatun, tracks of a female that had crossed the trail at the 98-km mark, with tracks of the same female also crossing this trail at the 100-km mark.
23.XII. 1939, along the Syao-Nancha River, at the 83 km mark along the trail between Ternei and Sidatun, the tracks of a male, which had walked downward along the trail until reaching the 107-km mark; he turned to his left at the 107-km mark.
23. XII. 1939, Kolumbe River, below the Syao-Nancha River, the tracks of a tiger that had crossed to the left side of the Kolumbe River.
All seven observations, which were made by F. A. Kozin, pertain to the tracks of two individuals--a male and a female, which lived during the first half of the winter in the district that includes the Ahkheza and Lyuchkheza Rivers, along the lower tributaries of the Kolumbe River (especially the Syao-Nancha and Ta-Nancha Rivers) and the left tributary of the Iman, the Syao-Sinancha River. Along the route from Ternei to Sidatun, F. A. Kozin and V. K. Yarovoi observed the tracks of three individuals along a length of the trail from the 82-km mark to the mouth of the Kolumbe River between 21 and 23.XII. 1939: a small female, a large male which was injured, probably in his rear foot, since he could not keep up pace with it and placed it somewhat obliquely (such tracks had not been observed earlier in this district), and an animal of undetermined sex.
The brigade of P. Bogachev, which had been walking along the Kolumbe River from the end of November and during the first 10-day-period of December 1939, observed the tracks of a small female and a large, "pigeon-toed" male along the Syao-Nancha River. The female had come from the area near Ankheza Stream, and she went back there. This same male also walked along the Ta-Nancha River and then left, heading upstream along the Kolumbe River. The (tiger catching) brigade of I. Trofimov observed the tracks of the same small female at the end of November and at the beginning of December in the district that includes the Lyuchikheza and Ahkheza Rivers, and the lower reaches of the Syao-Sinancha River (along the Iman River); she headed off deep into the nature reserve along the Syao-Nancha River.
According to Levchenko, who was residing at Nizhnii Sklad ("Lower Depot", a "staging post" cabin for the Blagodatnii mine), which is located at a distance of 15 km from the mouth of the Kolumbe River, four crossings by tigers were observed up until 13.II. 1940 along the right bank of the Kolumbe River near this site (the last having taken place on 6.I. 1940). Since the autumn, two crossings were observed where the tiger headed downstream, and these prints belonged to a small animal (a female), and during the winter, the two tracks going upstream belonged to a male.
On the basis of the last observations made by F. A. Kozin and V. K. Yarovoi, the "pigeon-toed" male departed along the left side of the Syao-Nancha River toward the Iman River on about 23.XII. 1939, but the small tigress remained in the Syao-Nancha area and, apparently, headed upstream along the right fork of the Syao-Nancha River. The tiger of undetermined sex headed off along the left side of the Kolumbe River, going upstream along the Iman River.
Observations of L. G. Kaplanov and F. A. Kozin:
1) 30.XII. 1939, while descending along the Syao-Nancha River, I encountered the tracks (which were powdered over with snow) of a tiger--a small female, which had walked along the trail after F. A. Kozin and Yarovoi had done so. In places, she crossed the trail. Workers who were constructing a staging cabin for the nature reserve at the 103-km mark (of the Ternei-Sidatun track) and who had arrived there on December 27, told me that this tiger track was already present and that the tiger had headed downstream along the Syao-Nancha River and beyond the Kolumbe River. The tigress had a small paw (the width of the print of the front paw on a thin layer of snow was 14 cm, while on ice it was 12 cm), but she was an old, experienced animal (the length of the body and the head according to the impression in the snow was 170 cm). Subsequently, she did not leave the area that we had under observation until spring.
2) 2.I. 1940. Fresh prints of the very same tigress crossed the Kolumbe River below Nizhnii Sklad ("Lower Depot") from the right side to the left (into the nature reserve).
3) On about 8.I. 1940, an averaged-sized male (not "pigeon-toed") emerged from the Iman River region above Sidatun at a distance of 10 km (from the basin of the Syao-Sinancha River); he walked along the left bank of the Kolumbe River, reached the mouth of the Syao-Nancha River, crossed onto the right bank of the Kolumbe River walking at a distance of only 200 m from Nizhnii Sklad ("Lower Depot"), and then departed, going upstream along the Kolumbe River, where he also lived throughout the winter. His old prints were observed at the end of February right up to the upper reaches of this river at Gorel'nikii and at the Bol'shoi Solonets salt lick. Tracks made by him while hunting wild boar below the Nantsa II were observed approximately 75 km from the mouth of the Kolumbe River.
4) On about 8.I. 1940, the very same female emerged onto the trail at the 94-km mark from the right bank of the Syao-Nancha River, walked along the trail, then on the ice and across inlets in the upper reaches of the right fork of the Syao-Nancha River, and crossed over into the Ta-Nancha River at the 78-km mark on the Ternei-Sidatun trail. She crossed at the headwaters of Ta-Nancha River and headed off toward the Nancha River. For the entire winter, she lived in the Kolumbe River area and along the Nancha River, mainly between 35 and 45 km stretch of the Kolumbe River (sometimes reaching up to the 75 km). And, by 21.II.1940, she had emerged at the Syao-Nancha River (on the right side) near the 111-km mark of the trail; she departed along the left fork of the Syao-Nancha River and then went across the Iman River from the nature reserve to the Syao-Sinancha River, where she also spent time in the district located at a distance of 10 km from the mouth of the river until my departure from the Iman River area on 22.III.1940.
5) 1.II. 1940 a large male, which was not "pigeon-toed", [the dimensions of the print of his front paw on ice were: width=18 cm, length=17 cm, length of the body and head (according to the impression in the snow) was over 180 cm, the rear foot measured 39 cm] emerged from the left bank of the Iman River at a distance of 12 km below Sidatun, coming from the basin of the Syao-Sinancha River. He was very stout and fat, weighing approximately 15 poods (one pood = 16.38 kg). Along the tracks for the runners of the sledges on the sledging road, where a person would not leave tracks, the tiger's prints had been crushed deep into the snow. He arrived from the valley of Lyuchikheza Stream (at the mouth), headed upstream along the Iman River, crossed it below Anhkeza Stream, and went back along the Syao-Sinancha River (crossing it from right to left at a distance of 20 km from the mouth).
6) 4.VII. 1940, the tracks of a tiger were found at 7 km of the Iman River (F. Kozin).
7) 19.IX.1940, a tiger was seen twice at 3 PM at 17 km of the Iman River, on the right bank (above Verkhnii Khutor) (F. Kozin).
8) Summer, 1940, a senior guard, E. Besedin, saw the tracks of a tiger along the middle course of the Syao-Nancha River on the Ternei-Sidatun trail.
9) Summer 1940, a party exploring for gold along the Kolumbe River saw the tracks of a tiger in the district located 40-50 km from the mouths of the Nantsa and Beitsa Rivers.
10) 12.XII 1940, the tracks of a medium-sized tiger, which had been walking downhill, were observed at a distance of 12 km from Sidatun on the Ternei-Sidatun trail (L. G. Kaplanov).
11) Over the course of the summer of 1940, one tigress stayed in the district of Verkhnii Khutor during the entire period, and, apparently, a different tigress with small prints lived along the middle course of the Kolumbe River (F. A. Kozin).
12) Winter 1940, three crossings of tigers were noted near the Lyuchikheza River, across the Kolumbe River and along the Syao-Nancha River (E. Besedin).
II. The Armu River:
1) The exploring party led by the mountain engineer Kozyavkin, which had been working in the nature reserve up until November 27, 1939, saw one tiger print of an animal that had crossed the Armu River at Bailaza Stream towards the Tatibe. The print could not have been observed prior to the first half of November, since permanent snow laid down only on November 8th.
2) The brigades of tiger catchers led by I. Trofimov and P. Bogachev, which had been working in the Armu River district during the second half of December 1939, and on February 12-27, 1940, did not see a single tiger print. Nor could we find any evidence of the presence of tigers in the district around Mikula, Bailaza, Sibichi and other streams (and also along the Armu River itself up to the Sancheza).
3) The guards of the nature reserve who were patrolling a sector along the Iman River from the village of Laulyu to the mouths of Tyangou and Kuala Streams (which flow into the Iman River on the right) did not see any tiger tracks there during the entire length of the season.
4) 25.II. 1940, a path made by a large tiger was observed along the upper reaches of the Nantsa River, a tributary of the Armu River. It was impossible to determine its sex, since the prints were filled up with snow, but apparently it was a male. The path ran from the mountain pass at the Ta-Kunzha River downstream along the Nantsa River for a distance of 40-50 km, not reaching the left tributary of the Nantsa - the Sintsa. From 5.II. until 19.II., this animal descended along the Ta-Kunzha River and then apparently returned (as all the signs indicated) going back into the basin of Beitsa Stream across Deupikhe Stream (its left tributary). The tiger successfully hunted moose along the upper reaches of the Nantsa River and along the upper reaches of the Sitsa River.
III. Tatibe River
Not a single tiger print was discovered here.
IV. Ta-Sinancha River
(a left tributary of the Iman River, located outside the nature reserve)
1) Beginning in autumn in the district where the Sinancha horse stable is located (on the Kartun-Sidatun road), a Glavpushnina guard [the Central State Fur Industry - Transl.], Comrade Yakubenko, and a stable guard Kozlov, noted the tracks of two tigers of different sizes which were traveling separately and which were apparently a male and a female. One track reached almost to the mouth of Ta-Sinancha Stream near the Sanchikheza. During the winter, tiger tracks were not seen near the stable. In January, the female walked near the source of the stream and devoured a wild pig that had been killed by an Iman hunter. In January, one track made by a tiger of undetermined sex led across the road from Ta-Sinancha Stream to Kamennii shoal going toward the Iman River (communicated by the senior guard of the Iman sector, E. Besedin).
2) 27.I. 1940 in the upper reaches of the Ta-Sinancha River, the local hunters S. Batrak and N. Peknik killed a large though not fat male tiger weighing approximately 203 kg (apparently, an old animal) by using a gun trap near a dead wild boar.
V. Syao-Sinancha Stream
1) At the beginning of February 1940, the tracks of a large male crossed the stream on the left at a distance of 20 km from its mouth. (Director of the Sidatun sector of Zagotpushnina, Elkin).
2) At the end of March 1940 a small female walked at a distance of 10 km from the mouth of this stream. (A Udehe man Tsailin, who lived in Sidatun).
3) June 20, 1940, an old male was killed along the upper reaches of this stream (Demchishin and Korolev, from the village of Bogolyubovo, Vaku River).
VI. Iman River between the Armu River and the Kolumbe River
1) According to two inhabitants of the village of Laulyu (I. and M. Trofimov), in November 1939, they saw the prints of a tiger (a female), which had come from upstream, near the rocky shoal (above the Armu River, at a distance of 50 km above Laulyu). For the second time, they saw the tracks of a tiger on Kamennyi [shoal - Transl.] on about 15.XII. 1939; the tracks led toward Kuala Stream (communication not verified).
VII. Iman River near Irtysh and Krasnaya Rechka
1) From 15.II. until 1.III. 1940, there were no tiger tracks on a section from Sidatun up to the Irtysh and Krasnaya Rechka. [Nikolai Kelindzyaga (Tsailin), an inhabitant of Sidatun].
2) From 15.II. until 1.III.1940, , the tracks of this animal were absent along Orochenka Stream. Along the upper reaches of Shubikha Stream, old tracks (which had been covered with snow) from two tigers--a male and a female--were discovered. [Shilo (a hunting guide), and Aleksei Sigde and Ivan Kelindziga, who are both Udehe hunters from the village of Sanchikheza]
VIII. Kema River
1) Up until 16.II. 1940 three three-year-old cubs--a male and two females--descended along the Kema River along Pravaya Akhte Stream, which adjoins Chanza Stream (across a high ridge that is 1600 m in elevation), a tributary of Beitsa Armayanskaya Stream. The male was killed by the senior guard, V. E. Spiridonov, along the boundary of the nature reserve, and the little females departed toward the left bank of the Kema River. At the same time, a large male tiger, which had also emerged from Akhte Stream, ascended along the stream to Yasnaya Polyana. The tracks of a tiger first appeared in Kema area in 1916 (senior guard, V. E. Spiridonov).
2) 18.II. 1940, the same large male descended along the Kema River to Teniguza Stream and then left there to follow the tracks of wild boar on the left side of the Kema River. On that same day, a large tigress with one approximately one-year-old cub, emerged from the area near Akhte Stream, and the tigress also followed the same tracks of wild boar on the left side of the Kema River in the district of Teniguza Stream (V. E. Spiridonov).
3) Up until 18.III. 1940, two small tigers (probably, small young females) crossed from the left bank to the right bank, one to Mud'e Stream at the boundary of the nature reserve, and the other at a distance of 27 km from the sea heading toward Il'mo Stream, a right tributary of the Kema River (V. E. Spiridonov).
4) On 18.IV. 1940, a tiger approached the window of a dwelling in the depot at Syao-Kunzha, Kema River . (V. E. Spiridonov).
5) In June 1940, the tracks of a tiger were observed along the Kema River at a distance of 12 km from the sea, at the "Arches" and in Chailinova pad' [a deep, narrow forested valley - Transl.] (V. E. Spiridonov)
6) In August 1940, the prints of tigers were observed in the district around Sukhoi Stream and near the fork of Tauntsa Stream at a distance of 75-80 km from the sea. (the geological exploration party led by V. K. Eliseeva).
7) 19.IX. 1940, the tracks of a large tiger and of a medium-sized tiger appeared on a trail between Syao-Kunzha and Pravaya Akhte Streams. A tiger frightened a horse on the night of 20.IX. near Pravaya Akhte Stream, and the horse ran for 20 km. (senior guard Spiridonov).
8) 8.XI. 1940, the tracks of a tiger were discovered near Syao-Kunzha Stream at a distance of 60 m from some dwellings (V. E. Spiridonov).
9) 9.XI. 1940 a tiger walked downhill toward the Chima River and saw the tracks of a bear before reaching the river, then followed after him.
10) At the beginning of December 1940, the prints of an adult tiger were discovered along the Chima River. This was a tiger which had crossed the river from the north at the river's mouth and then departed heading upstream along the left side of the Kema River (V. E. Spiridonov).
11) 11.XII. 1940, fresh tracks of a small tiger were observed near Syao-Kunzhinskii waterfall close to a house. The tiger had stepped off the ice of the Kema River onto a stone and had walked over to "zabol" [a flooded or boggy area - Transl.] near the houses. (observer: I. L. Kosyuk).
IX Belimbe River
1) In October 1940, the tracks of a tiger were observed along Spravtsev Stream, above Malinovii Stream, on the left side of the Belimbe River, at a distance of 20 km from the sea (V. E. Spiridonov).
2) In October 1940, a geological exploration party led by V. K. Eliseeva observed the tracks of tigers above Chetvertii Stream, and upstream (to Pereval'nii Stream and higher).
3) 20.XI. 1940, the tracks of two tigers appeared at a depot located at a distance of 38 km from the sea. The animals came from above the river and later returned there. They had approached to within a distance of 30 m of some houses (observer: A. A. Perfiliev).
4) 7.I. 1941, the prints of two tigers, which were walking there simultaneously, were observed near a depot. They came from above and went downward, one of them descended as much as to the lower depot at 25 km from the sea. (observer: A. A. Perfiliev).
X. Sankhobe-Sitsa Rivers
1) 7.XI. 1940, the tracks of a tiger were discovered on the Ternei-Sidatun trail along Yakov Stream at the 68-km mark (observer: I. D. Popkov).
2) In February 1941, near Medvezhii Stream (at a distance of 44 km from the sea), the tracks of a small tiger which had crossed from the left bank to the right bank were observed. (V. D. Shamykin, a scientist).
XI. Bikin River
Tigers and their tracks had already been absent for three years throughout the entire basin. The tracks of a female were observed in 1936 along the Biomu River (in its upper reaches), the latest; the tigress then departed, heading to one side of the Khor River. (A. A. Kozin).
XII. The Remaining Parts of the Nature Reserve
Tiger prints were absent both there and in the adjoining territories.
Literature containing information on Far Eastern tigers:
1. Arseniev, V. K. 1937. In the Mountains of Sikhote-Alin. Izd. Molodaya Gvardiia.
2) Arseniev, V. K. 1937. In the Wilds of Primor'e. Izd. Molodaya Gvardiia.
3) Arseniev, V. K. 1937. Dersu Uzala. Detizdat Central Committee VLKSM.
4) Afanasiev, A. V. 1934. The Hunting Industry in the District of the Dusse-Alin' Mountain Range. Trudy SOPS.
5. Baikov, N. A. 1915. In the Forests and Mountains of Manchuria. Moscow.
6. Baikov, N. A. 1915. The Manchurian Tiger. Published by the Society for the Study of the Manchurian Region. Kharbin.
7. Berg, B. Tiger und Mensch. (Concerning tigers in India, based on observations made in 1933-1934).
8. Ognev, S. I. 1935. Animals of the USSR and Adjoining Countries, Vol III. Moscow and Leningrad.
9. Plyater-Plokhotskii, K. 1934. Harmful and Useful Animals in the Agriculture of the Far Eastern Region. Moscow and Khabarovsk.
10. Przhevalskii, N. M. 1937. Travels in the Ussuri Region in 1867-1869. Moscow.
11. Salmin, Yu. A. 1941. On the biology and commerce of the tiger in the Far East. Metod. Zap. Gl. Upr-niya po zapovednikam, No. VII, Moscow.
12. Shklyar, N. G. 1935. A Story about a Zoo. Moscow.