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Species diversity and use of biological resources

Large Mammals Roaming Amur-Heilong River Basin

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Large mammals require vast areas of natural habitats and do not recognize national borders.  In the east big catstigers and leopards - frequently roam between Russia, China and North Korea in search of prey that also migrates across streams and through barbwire.  Forests along the Ussuri/Wusuli River contain important tiger habitats, such as Wanda Shan in China, Strelnikov and Vyazemsky ridges in Russia.  However, increasing fragmentation of natural areas makes maintaining connectivity between these regions a major concern.   The Khabarovsky Provincial government in 2003 established three protected areas of a new type: “ecological migration corridor” that cover 1,220 sq. km.  One of these was established to ensure unimpeded pass of Amur tiger from Strelnikov to Wandashan ridge in China.  A similar plan for tigers and leopards has been developed for the forests of Primorsky Province.  In Jilin Province the Forestry Bureau has similar concerns and plans to develop additional reserves and other protection measures to secure tiger and leopard access from the border to all remaining suitable forest habitats and reestablish population in Changbai mountains.

In the west of the Amur-Heilong in Dauria Steppe major similar concern is securing migratory herds of Mongolian Gazelle roaming grasslands of three countries.  Dauria is the last place in Eurasia where regular migration of  million herd of gazelle could be still witnessed.  Barbwire along borders may kill forerunners, but those who follow often manage to cross it stepping on corpses of their comrades.

Hinggan Gorge area in the middle of Amur Basin is a primary habitat for black bear, and seasonal migration of bear, deer, wild pig and other wildlife across Amur river is a prominent feature of the ecosystem.  Barbaric hunting method –killing swimming animals from boats is still a common local tradition.

Siberian subspecies of roe deer also has migration habits. Animals habitually crossed major tributaries of Amur –Zeya and Bureya, but lately they regularly drown in vast reservoirs created by hydropower plants

Gazelle herd in Daurian steppe. Photo by Guo Yumin


Roe deer crossing the river (Photo by V.Solkin)


Map collections:

Species richness

Distribution of charismatic species





Mongolian gazelle

Major protected areas of Amur-Heilong

Small Hinggan transboundary area

Dauria Steppe Global 200 ecoregion



Also look:

Species richness in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Big cats of Amur-Heilong River Basin

Mongolian gazelle



Exploitation of wild fauna and flora in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Hunting in Russian Far East

Mongolian hunting case study

The harvest of biological resources in China

Trade in flora and fauna in Russian Far East



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