Sunday 3 November 2013

NEWSLINK: Russia - The Snare for tiger

The Project Wildlife Conservation Society “Amur Tiger” has been taking place in Sikhote Alinskiy biosphere nature Reserve (north-eastern part of Primorye, Russian Far East) since 1992. The Project includes capturing tigers with the use of Aldrich foot snare for further immobilization and equipping them with radio or GPS collars. Aldrich foot snare is a steel device made of 8mm rod, spring and big screw bolts. The trap is set in a small hollow on the trail that the animal uses; it is attached to a tree and is thoroughly disguised. When the animal steps on a spring, the loop catches its foot. When the tiger is trapped he starts to throw himself and bite the metal device. As a result, tigers seriously injure their paws and teeth, and it usually later results in their death. Russian zoologists started using this snare as well in 2008.

Dalnauka Publishing House (Vladivostok) has published a monograph Diseases and Parasites of Wildlife in Siberia and the Russian Far East under the editorship of I.V. Seryodkin and D.G. Miquelle. Dr. Seryodkin is an associate professor and acting Head of Laboratory in Pacific Institute of Geography, Far-Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Science. Dr. D. G. Miquelle is the director of WCS Russia [1]. Pages 108-117 of the book contain a chapter titled “Tooth breakage in tigers: cause for conflict?” [2]. The authors of the chapter are members of “Amur Tiger” Project launched by WCS: D.M. Goodrich, I.V. Seryodkin, D.G. Miquelle, L.L. Kerley, H.B. Quigley, M.G. Hornocker. They try to address the criticism of WCS centered on dangerous entrapment techniques which often harm animals and consequently provoke aggression towards humans [3..6]. They try to prove this wrong by substantiating their work with studies of 46 tigers caught by Aldrich foot snares. Notably, they discuss only dental injuries, and more specifically “… on injured canines with necrotic pulp and open apex; other teeth are beyond the scope of this research”. Limb injuries are not mentioned at all, while it is intuitive to expect this kind of damage after being caught by paw-catching steel more

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