"...If the first tiger's attack succeeds and the bear falls down, the tiger masters his foe and kills him; if not, the bear slowly, but surely, conquers the tiger and kills him. By this duel the problem of the desired territory is solved for ever..."
Dear friends, the good news came from Bastak Nature Reserve. The camera traps installed in the protected area took photos of Cinderella and a male Amur tiger!
According to reserve’s ranger who does the tracking of the tigress with the specialist from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Cinderella recently passed through the centre of the reserve. According to the tracks she was followed by the brown bear and the male tiger.
Unfortunately, due to insufficient financing the scientists cannot keep a wary eye on Cinderella’s movements. To get complete information about the tigress and her behavior after the rehabilitation and her release back into the wild at least ten more pairs of camera traps have to be installed in Bastak. We ask everyone who follows the destiny of the orphaned tigress to help us purchase these cameras by making a donation to Phoenix Fund here. Please, write “Camera traps for Cinderella” in the purpose of payment.
“Cinderella will regularly go out of the reserve, but will definitely come back here, – says the employee of the Program of studying of the Amur tigers in the Russian Far East of the Institute of environmental problems and evolution of A.N.Severtsov Victor Lukarevsky. – This is the third or fourth time that we register her in the protected territory. It is sad that with just two cameras we don’t have a chance to gather more data on the tigress and the environment surrounding her.”
Basic types of interspecific relationship of brown bear Ursus arctos in the Sikhote-Alin
Ivan V. Seryodkin
ABSTRACT Relationship of brown bear Ursus arctos with other types of animals in the Sikhote-Alin are diversitydifferent characters. In the ecosystems of the region bear stands in this relationship as a competition-rents for different types of food resources, commensal, boarder, and a predator. His only enemy is the Siberian tiger Panthera tigris altaica. Brown bear susceptible helminth invasions, including those with epidemiological significance for man.
INTERSPECIFIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE AMUR TIGER (PANTHERA TIGRIS ALTAICA) AND THE BROWN (URSUS ARCTOS) AND ASIATIC BLACK BEARS (URSUS THIBETANUS)
Ivan V. Seryodkin Dale Miquelle John Goodrich A.V. Kostyria Yuri K. Petrunenko
During 1992–2013 we studied the relationship between Amur tigers and brown and Asiatic black bears in the Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve and surrounding areas in the southern Russian Far East. To determine the importance of bears in the diet of tigers, 763 kills were located and identified, and 430 tiger scat samples were collected and analyzed. To detect kills and scat samples we used radio telemetry and satellite tracking, as well as snow-tracking. Relying on evidence revealed by tracks, as well as radio telemetry, we determined whether bears exploited tiger kills as a food resource, and how the two may have interacted at kill sites. Thirty-two Asiatic black bear and 12 brown bear den sites were measured to define properties that might assist in protection from the threat of a tiger attack. We identified 641 instances of marking on trees by both tigers and bears, an indication of the complexity of their relationship. Bears are an important part of tigers’ diet, representing 2.2% of all kills found. Bear remains were found in 8.4% of examined tiger scats. Bears exploited tiger kills after a tiger had left, by usurping a kill, or by “sharing” a kill at alternate times. The occurrence of den properties that provided some protection from tigers was dependent on the den type and location. Evidence of both tiger and bear marking was detected at 50.1% of marked trees. A literature review of the relationship of tigers and bears is provided
Things had gone from one dead tiger to one live tiger, to one live tiger and one dead bear, all in the span of about 45 minutes
By Jonathan C. Slaght on March 5, 2018
This is a story that starts with a tiger and involves a bear or two, but if I had to choose I’d say this is a story about a crow.
In June 2006 I was asked to help find a dead tiger. I’d just completed a field season studying Blakiston’s fish owls and had a few extra days in Ternei, a coastal village home to WCS’s Siberian Tiger Project. There, I’d join tiger biologists for evening beers and hear tales of roaring tigers, charging bears, and other high-adrenaline adventures.
These were stories told with matter-of-factness rather than bravado, as though the encounters were with livestock not mega carnivores. I’d sit back and listen, pleased that these incidents did not involve me. While I was comfortable working in forests with tigers nearby it seemed reckless to actively seek one out. There’s something inherently intimidating about massive, toothy predators that like to hide from things then later jump out and kill those things.
One morning John Goodrich, then the field coordinator for the Siberian Tiger Project, told me that a radio-collared tiger had not moved in days. This likely meant one of two things: either the tiger died a natural death, or had been shot and his collar discarded by poachers to cover their tracks. John was looking for an extra set of eyes in his search for the carcass, and since the tiger was presumed dead this seemed pretty safe to me. I agreed to go.
We drove about ten kilometers from town, where John eased his pickup off the road and activated his VHF receiver, surprised to hear the steady beeps of an “active” signal. Radio transmissions are either “active”—meaning the tiger is moving about, or “passive”—meaning that the tiger has been immobile for some hours.
It had been several “passive” readings in a row, over a series of days, that prompted field assistants to deem this tiger dead. It now appeared they had been mistaken. I looked at John, assuming that this new information meant that we were to call the search off, but he shrugged and pushed ahead. We were now looking for a live tiger.
We followed the strength of the radio signal up a forested hill, with John pausing periodically to reassess our trajectory. Halfway through our ascent, sweaty from the humidity and the climb, the signal weakened then melted into the background sea of radio static. We looked at each other: how had the tiger disappeared?
When we reached the top of the hill it became clear. John spotted a tiger bed near the ridge: a spot where the animal had been lying only moments before. When the tiger sensed our approach he quietly retreated over the ridge and down into the neighboring valley. The signal disappeared because VHF radio waves cannot pass through mountains.
As John investigated the tiger bed I kept my eyes fixed on the ridge, half expecting a tiger to explode back across at any moment. After all, I’d heard stories that started just like this. I fumbled to unclip the canister of bear spray hanging from my belt: a terse blast of capsaicin was our only defense should the tiger decide to roar its way back into the story. John, oblivious to my concern, picked up a stray hair here and there, then knelt closely to the bed and inhaled deeply.
“I smell bear,” he began, “I think this tiger ate a bear!” He stood up with fire in his eyes. “We’ve got a dead bear to look for.”
I stared at him, incredulous. Things had gone, first, from one dead tiger, to then one live tiger, to now one live tiger and one dead bear—all in the span of about 45 minutes. This was the mega carnivore equivalent of things getting out of hand.
This corner of northeast Asia is the only place in the world where tigers and brown bears live in the same forests, and the prospect that John and I had stumbled upon the aftermath of a direct and fatal encounter washed me with alternating waves of wonder and trepidation.
We began a methodological search for bear remains, moving in an ever-widening circle emanating from the tiger bed. We occasionally stumbled into an area heavy with the aroma of death. Scents of decay can drift from the point of origin; sometimes collecting far from a carcass itself. But, try as we might, we could not pinpoint its source.
John and I spent the better part of an hour in our search, and eventually sat on a log to admit defeat. Hearing wings, I looked up to spy a crow flying in our direction above the canopy. When it reached us the bird cocked its head, peered down, and croaked a curt caw. Then it wheeled in the sky and flew back from where it had come. John and I watched silently then resumed talking.
A minute later the same bird (or one just like it) returned and repeated the action: flying toward us, looking down, calling, and then flying back. John’s interest in our search was renewed: he recalled stories about ravens leading hunters to deer and boar, hoping to feed off scraps once the hunter was done. John wondered aloud if this crow was doing something similar. We stood and pursued, following the crow east. About a hundred paces later the stench of death grew stronger.
The forest unexpectedly opened to a small clearing about ten meters across and at my feet lay the severely-decomposed hind leg of a bear. This was a horror of a thing that shared a striking resemblance to a human leg. John moved ahead to discover a similarly-ripe forearm: pale bone and fetid flesh camouflaged among the detritus of the forest floor.
Then John found a skull. Judging by the tooth wear this had been a very old brown bear. The stench here was indescribable.
Only then did I notice our surroundings with more clarity. It looked like a grenade had gone off. Everything was devastated: shrubs were stripped of their leaves, branches were broken, and the soil had been scraped from the forest floor and piled into a massive mound in the middle of this space. I had no idea what I was looking at but of course John did: this was a bear cache. Brown bears sometimes bury their kills for future consumption, and they do so by hiding the meat under a pile of dirt and debris they scrape together.
The exact sequence of events was unclear, but what we did know was that an old brown bear had died, and was then buried by another bear.Whether it had been killed by that bear, or a tiger, or died of some other reason we would never know. But at some point a radio-collared tiger had discovered this cache and spent several days digging up and consuming various bear bits.
This was why the tiger’s collar had transmitted a number of “inactive” signals across a protracted period: the tiger was lazing about in a bear-induced food coma.
I noticed a few crows bustling impatiently in the canopy, and was reminded of how we found that place to begin with. Were the crows waiting for us to dig up more bear? This is why I think this is a story about a crow: despite all we know about tigers and bears from radio-telemetry and other technologies, ultimately it was a crow that helped us fit the puzzle pieces together.
It’s a gentle reminder to sometimes filter out the static, heed the signs nature leaves in plain sight, and to always follow the crow.
The scientist’s blood became a bait for a tiger from a reserve in the Khabarovsk Territory Photo: FSBI Zapovednoye Priamurye
In the Khabarovsk Territory, scientists have witnessed how the tiger behaves in search of prey. The observation turned out to be spontaneous, but rather interesting. It all started with the fact that one of the employees of the reserve "Bolshekhekhtsirsky" cut his hand with dry grass. The wound was so deep that a red liquid sprinkled on the ground.
- The specialist who cut his hand is Alexei Gotvansky. He worked in the area of the Odyr cordon , where he changed the batteries of the camera traps and cleaned the grass around the tree on which the camera was mounted, ”the FSBI Zapovednoye Amurye told .
After the tiger, a brown bear also visited this place ("an hour after the tiger"). Photo: FSBI ZAPOVEDNOYE AMUR REGION
The next day, the expedition returned to the cordon, where they were waiting for a surprise. A tiger fell into the camera trap lens. Judging by the frames, he sniffed the earth, bushes and grass for a long time. It seemed that he was looking for prey, smelling the blood of Alexei. After the tiger, a brown bear also visited this place, who also tried to “hunt”.
Note that pheromones are usually distributed around bait traps as bait. In this case, the bait involuntarily became real human blood.
Cameras are used in the forests to monitor tigers and Amur leopards, which helps us to identify individual animals and record their movements and families. Photographs can also be used to estimate the abundance of animals and density depending on the scientific data interpretation and methodologies used. They have also been used to monitor prey species and when hidden from sight, to provide evidence against poachers and other illegal activity.
But what about the other thousands of images, not of prey, tigers or Amur leopards?
These images help to build up a story about the interactions between different species and the general health and biodiversity of the habitat helping scientists to understand more about the landscape and animals they are trying to protect. Here are some of the images from our projects that do just that.
Bear v tiger
Survival in Zov Tigra National Park in the Russian Far East is challenging because of severe climate and large competitors such as Amur tigers and brown bears. This is a very large male brown bear coming to the same scent-marking tree as the male tiger named “Elvis”. A bear so fat and healthy is unusual in Spring after hibernating all winter without eating and indicates that he had plenty to eat before he started hibernation in the late Autumn. Bears and tigers usually avoid each other but when they meet it can be dangerous for both species. Some tigers will kill and eat smaller bears, and bears sometimes prey on tiger cubs, or follow tigers to kill sites and steal their kills. Mother tigers select den sites where cubs can hide in small caves or rock crevasses that are too small for such large bears.