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ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION - A - THE TIGER (Panthera tigris)

Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-28-2015, 05:07 PM by peter )

TIGERS AND BEARS IN RUSSIA TODAY - III


1 - A RECENT PAPER OF K.N. TKACHENKO

Some months ago, while searching for new information on tigers and bears in Russia, I found an abstract of a paper published in 2012. 

K.N. Tkachenko, who wrote the paper, provided information on the diet of wild Amur tigers in an unknown region (the Bol'shekhekhtsirskii Reserve, just north of the city of Chabarowsk). Tkachenko followed 3 tigers (two males and one female) for about fifteen years and concluded tigers, even in a densely populated region, prefer wild animals over domestic animals. When exposed to too much (human caused) stress (after 2000), however, they (and the tigress in particular) changed their diet.

Although anything but perfect, I decided to post the two pages I scanned anyhow:   



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*This image is copyright of its original author



2 - SOURCES

Tkachenko's findings contradict the results of other researchers to an extent in that he found that bears, and Himalayan black bears in particular, were an important food source (31,2%) for tigers all year round. 

When trying to find more on his paper, someone informed me on a post in a thread on bears and tigers in the Carnivora forum. This post has a long quote from Tkachenko's paper. As it was printed in a somewhat peculiar way and also missed a number of words, I decided to rewrite the entire part and add a few parts of the abstract posted above. 

The title of the thread in the Carnivora forum is 'Predation and interaction between ursids and tigers' and the name of the poster whose post I used is 'Canidae'. The post I used was posted on June 30, 2013. I remember reading that the paper (or parts of it) was (were) first posted in Grahh's forum ('Shaggy God'), but I can't confirm as I haven't visited Grahh's forum in a long time. Perhaps some of you can.


3 - THE REWRITE

I could say it is an original, but the summary below is based on the abstract of Tkachenko's paper and the part quoted in the post of poster 'Canidae'. I, therefore, decided to call it a rewrite.

The result is 5 pages. I only posted 4, because the last one went missing. I will try to find it.

The part of Tkachenko's paper quoted by poster 'Canidae' has no paragraphes. I decided to add them in order to enhance the readability, but one could also conclude they are superfluous. I also added a few words here and there. Most of what was quoted, however, wasn't changed.

Tkachenko's paper is interesting. Those parts I considered extra-interesting or remarkable were printed in blue.   



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*This image is copyright of its original author




*This image is copyright of its original author




4 - ADDITIONS

a - When you want to know more on the size of Himalayan black bears in south-east Russia, go to posts 94 and 95. Remember the amount of individual variation in bears, Himalayan black bears included, is quite pronounced. Most adult males won't exceed 300-350 pounds, but some can be as heavy as an average adult male Amur tiger. The male shot by one the Jankowski's probably exceeded 440 pounds (200 kg.).

b - When you want to know more on how tigers hunt bears, go to post 54. Bart Schleyer followed tigers who hunted bears in the snow and was able to reconstruct what happened. The tigers usually had about a hundred pounds on the bears they hunted. All bears attacked were killed and all were killed with a bite to the base of the neck.

c - Tkachenko's concluded the tigress he had followed for many years hunted bears without a doubt. There are more examples of tigresses hunting bears, but it seems to be the exception to the general rule. Or is it?

It is likely tigresses, probably more so than males, will be targeted by bears. The reason is tigresses often have cubs (potential food) and, therefore, hunt more often than males (even more potential food). If we add they are considerably smaller than male tigers, it is likely most male bears would be potentially interested. Chances are most tigresses will get involved in disputes sooner or later and my guess is sooner rather than later. There is no doubt some of these disputes result in victims. As tigers usually eat what they kill, it is likely these disputes will affect hunting behaviour.  

d - One of the most remarkable observations was black bears, although hunted by tigers, do not avoid their kills. They will feed on tiger kills whenever possible. Scavenging, therefore, isn't a privilege of large bears. This also means it's likely many disputes start at kill sites.
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United States Roflcopters Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-04-2014, 01:37 AM by Roflcopters )

Alright so this is a rather new idea of mine that i came up with to keep a track of all Publications, Scientific studies, data, charts, prey density, help with identification of an an individual tiger/tigress, history, family line and basically anything that you see on tigers worth posting and i will try and update the topic with the best of my knowledge accordingly. 

here are the following sections that i am currently aiming for 

Quote:data on prey density, food intake, preferred prey, habitat, tiger weights, estimated sizes of individual tigers (example: there's a few on Bamera and Khali) 

[quote]Unidentified male or female from any of the tiger reserves, Accuracy is not guaranteed but I will try from the best of my knowledge with the help of my partners in crime.

Ok so I am going to start it off


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Prey density of the following parks 

Kanha (Central India)
Pench (not sure which side)
Nagarhole (South India)
Bandipur (South India)
Mudumalai (South India)
Bardia (Nepal)
Chitwan (Nepal


*This image is copyright of its original author


another prey density done on Pench Tigers from the (Madhya Pradesh - Central India)


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Tiger density of Nagarhole, Bandipur, Bhadra and Anashi


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Number of tigers caught in camera traps from 1990 to 2011 in Karnataka (South India) - a good sign




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Prey selection of Tigers from Nagarhole, maybe Guate or Peter can shed some light on this. I am not sure where this study is from but willing to bet that this is the figure from Nagarhole.


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Study on tiger's preferred prey from Nagarhole (South India), Chitwan (Nepal), Huai Kha Khaeng (Thailand) and Sikhote-Alin (Russia)


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Study of Tiger prey preference from Nagarhole



So this was just to start off the topic, basically the whole idea is to gather all the information out there on tigers and organize them accordingly. example : if you see something on tigers and not sure where to post, post it here. EVEN IF YOU THINK IT'S SPAM, don't hesitate posting it.


[img]images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
 
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United States Pckts Offline
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Great thread Idea, it's definitely going to be a tedious task, But worth it in the end.
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United States Roflcopters Offline
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definitely a big step forward and will be well worth it in the end, I know how difficult it is sometimes to go through the hard drive searching for Data so i figured this would sort of take care of that aspect. 

 
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-28-2015, 05:08 PM by peter )

TIGRESS CINDERELLA

Tigress Cinderella got into a rehab facility when she was young. She was released not so long ago and, in spite of her age (about 3), seems to do quite well.

In the first report is a photograph of a large lynx killed and partially eaten by a tiger. Tigers hunt other small carnivores when the opportunity presents itself. Could be chance, but my guess is competition also has something to do with it.

In the eighties of the last century, a documentary on tigers in Sweden (...) was broadcasted. It was called 'Our Tigers'. Per Lindblad, a Swedish filmmaker, got permission to take two orphaned tiger cubs from India to Sweden. The aim was to prepare them for a career in India. The tigresses graduated with honours in Sweden, but unfortunately never saw India again. I remember they hunted badgers often.

The second report has a photograph of a wild wolf in the reserve where Cinderella was released. Remarkable, as wolves usually disappear when tigers are near. The reason is tigers hunt wolves in Russia.

Notice the two photographs of the resident male tiger and the Amur brown bear (bottom) in the second report as well. It could be both pictures were taken at the same tree:

http://www.wcsrussia.org/AboutUs/NewsArchive/tabid/2041/ID/1442/language/en-US/CINDERELLA-IS-FEELING-OUT-HER-PRINCE.aspx#.VBE7KsscTs0

http://www.wcsrussia.org/AboutUs/NewsArc...BE97MscTs0
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Netherlands peter Offline
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GUATE

I recently saw this: 

http://carmenriverocolina.wordpress.com/...er/page/2/

Ever heard about Rivero Colina?
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United States Roflcopters Offline
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(09-11-2014, 12:02 PM)'peter' Wrote: GUATE

I recently saw this: 

http://carmenriverocolina.wordpress.com/...er/page/2/

Ever heard about Rivero Colina?

 



I've been following this blog since last year, It's quite informative and well written. [img]images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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India sanjay Offline
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Really great website, Is it only maintained by Rivero Colina?
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-15-2014, 08:23 AM by peter )


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This book was translated from the German version (´Jagd in der Taiga´ - Das Bergland Buch, Salzburg, 1959). The English version, translated and adapted by M. Heron, was published in 1961. I got the English translation.

Aramilev was born and raised in the southern part of the Ural Mountains in the days of the Sovjet-Union. In those days, many hunted.

The book is a collection of hunting stories. Most are short, but ´On the Isle of Swans´ is longer. In this story, Aramilev wrote about a painter who lived on ´The Isle of Swans´. They talked about the damage caused by poachers. The painter´s friend was Ley Georgiyevich Kaplanov, Director of the Siudsichinsk National Park on the Caucasian coast. We know him as Lev Kaplanov, a gifted zoologist. The man who wrote ´Tiger, Elk and Red Deer´. Kaplanov was the man who possibly prevented the Amur tiger from extinction. He was killed by a poacher. A great tragedy.

Another longer story is ´A Journey to the Kuldur´. The president of a kolchoz (a large collective farm) well-known for its red deer, Dimitry Ivanich, was at a loss because the last stag of the herd had succumbed. They needed a new wild stag and all knew the party had to go a long way. The question was who would be able to find the salt-marsh on the upper reaches of the Kuldur (a tributuary of the Amur).

It was decided to contact Vandaga. His mother was a Nanai and his father an Udege (both numerically small East Asiatic races). He was a real son of the taiga (forest) who had left his tribe and crossed over to the right (southern) bank of the Amur. The reason he left his tribe was he had been banned for killing the tiger who had killed and eaten his dog. A capital sin.

Vandaga and his wife settled near the river Tudachese in Manchuria. There he was visited by misfortune. Marauding Tunguse killed his wife and son and plundered his property. He was wounded, but escaped. Later, he had gained a reputation as a brilliant hunter who visited the various Russian settlements at times.

The village hunter (Yerofey) and Aramilev contacted Vandaga. He agreed and took his dog. Although Aramilev led the party, it was Vandaga who took most decisions in the end.

The story very much compared to ´Dersu the Trapper´ (written by V.K. Arseniev) in that Vandaga saw every animal as a member of a specific tribe. To him, all animals and insect were ´people´. He saw them as his peers and treated them accordingly. The difference with other members of his former tribe was Vandaga had decided to hunt tigers as well. Because he had shot many (one or two every year for 46 years), he knew about their habits. Experienced tigers, for instance, tricked male red deer by calling them.

When the party reached the valley of the upper Kuldur, it was empty. The reason was tigers also knew about the salt-marsh. The one who had decided to visit the valley at the time they arrived was an experienced animal. Following the giant footprints, they came upon the remains of a red deer killed by the tiger, Vandaga concluded ´... Tiger kill red deer, eat little, go to sleep. Then wolves come, eat rest ... ´ (pp. 182).

The tiger knew about them already. It had sneaked up and laid down only ten paces from their hiding-place. That´s why the dog had snarled the previous night. ´ ... We must make tiger kaput, commissar´, Vandaga said. ´Then red deer will come to salt-marsh ... ´ (pp. 182).

The tiger apparently had similar ideas. The two hunters who decided to ambush the tiger were ambushed themselves. The only reason they survived was Yerofey, the village hunter. He had decided to follow them after all. It was he who shot the tiger. The tiger was a big one - ´Just look what a giant he is! I´d say he weighed fifteen poods ... `(pp. 186).

The Kuldur is just south of Lake Baikal, about a thousand miles west from the western border of Amur tigers today. A thousand miles in about 60-70 years only (...). The tiger was shot in August and my guess is it happened in the forties or fifties of the last century.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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Just in the mid 20th century, the Amur tigers were still roaming in the Siberia, so no doubt the Pleistocene tigers were largely dispersed in the taiga forest of the Siberia.
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United States Pckts Offline
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Very impressive to see that Bears made up 31% of a tigers diet. But I notice that tigers may be forced to hunt them more due to the lack of wild boars and once wild boars were abdundent, bears where not targeted as much. I wonder if over hunting of hooved animals will/has caused tigers to hunt bears more and more.
Very interesting read, tfs.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 09-24-2014, 07:35 AM by peter )

(09-15-2014, 11:25 PM)'Pckts' Wrote: Very impressive to see that Bears made up 31% of a tigers diet. But I notice that tigers may be forced to hunt them more due to the lack of wild boars and once wild boars were abdundent, bears where not targeted as much. I wonder if over hunting of hooved animals will/has caused tigers to hunt bears more and more.
Very interesting read, tfs.

 

Not quite. Availability, of course, has something to do with it, but the real reason could be natural balance. If a predator selects different animals in different seasons, prey animals have a chance to recover. This will result in more balance and more balance is a better future.

In the region studied, tigers hunt bears in every season. When wild boars and red deer are available, tigers hunt them more often than bears, but that doesn't mean black bears are not hunted at all.

We have to remember Tkachenko's results relate to 3 adult tigers (two males and one female) in one region only. In other regions, bears are not hunted at all. Another conclusion is bears are not only hunted by male tigers.

It is not known why some tigers hunt bears and others do not. Russia has a limited number of herbivores and quite many bears. Tkachenko concluded black bears do not fear tigers. Many visit tiger kills when possible. Any tiger even remotely interested in bears would get a chance to test bears at some time. Maybe those not hunting bears had a bad experience and maybe those interested had a different experience.

Some years ago, I read everything available on bears and tigers. I concluded bears and tigers most often meet near kill-sites. At times, there are encounters, but in most cases the animals radiated. When fights erupted, most had a tragic outcome. Tigers won most fights, but bears didn't do that bad.

Anything known on these fights? Not much. The researchers often were unable to conclude anything on sex, age and subspecies. What is known, however, suggests adult animals perished in fights as well.

Anything known on adult males? A bit. There was a long and interesting debate in a thread on bears and tigers in AVA some years ago. Krechmar, a renowned Russian biologist and hunter, featured in quite many posts. When asked about fights between males, he said not one dominated the other in a fysical fight. When average weights for both are included (male brown bears average 250-270 kg. and male tigers between 170-212 kg.), one could say male tigers do quite nice. Winner on points, perhaps? 

Not quite. Some male brown bears easily exceed 300 kg. and one would think they would be able to take any tiger kill. Krechmar confirmed and so did Sludskij and Sysoev. As they don't come more experienced, the conclusion has to be big male brown bears get it their way. The Russian biologists, therefore, concluded there is a winner on points. And he has no stripes.

Could have been different in the recent past, tiger posters think. A century ago, some tigers also reached 250-275 kg. or even more. They have a point, although exceptions are different from general rules. In 1943, an exception was photographed near the remains of a big male brown bear he had killed and eaten. This incident, however, wasn't accepted by researchers. No passport, no case and case closed, they concluded.

Today's tigers seem a bit smaller, but Krechmar thinks Russia still has wild large Amur tigers. He saw prints of extra-large tigers and as he has personal experience we have to assume he is right. In an indirect way, he was supported by the two male tigers who destroyed the much critisized Aldrich-snare. Both were large. Maybe larger than 'Luke', who leads the table for now. Luke, although heavy at 212 kg., wasn't impressive in lineair measurements (183 cm. in head and body straight).

And my stand?

The more I read, the more I'm convinced things are not that different from a century ago. It depends on the circumstances and these seem to improve in both Russia and China. Modern wild males range between 360-470 pounds, but maybe large males are able to destroy the Aldrich-snare.

If Amur tigers would compare to Indian tigers, the heaviest wild Amur tiger could exceed an average male by 35-50%. This would result in 480-700 pounds. In theory, of course.

The heaviest males actually weighed (and accepted) ranged between 550-560 pounds. The giant shot in 1943, at about 650 pounds, was heavier and (at 11.6 feet 'over curves') longer, but he had just finished a large bear when he was shot. If we include captive Amur tigers (those in the overweight department excluded), one would expect to find a freak of 650 pounds or even a bit more once in a generation. But 430 pounds apparently is just about enough to prevent getting robbed by an average male Amur bear.

We could conclude any statement on tigers and bears depends on the angle and be right. We could also say not enough is known. There are not enough data. Unclear, I concluded.
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(09-11-2014, 12:02 PM)'peter' Wrote: GUATE

I recently saw this: 

http://carmenriverocolina.wordpress.com/...er/page/2/

Ever heard about Rivero Colina?

 
No, as far I remember. But very interesting blog, in fact.

I will read her posts. [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]
 
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-25-2018, 04:43 PM by peter )


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GENERAL IMPRESSION

'Red Wolves and White Tigers' was published in 1952 by the 'Bonner Buchgemeinde' (Germany). It was a special publication (in German), meaning the number of books was limited. I don't think it was ever translated, so I'll be your guide today.

My general impression was interesting, well written and accurate. Velter knows how to write a book on adventures in far away and unknown regions. It reminded me of Arseniev's great book 'Dersu the Trapper'. Arseniev's observations on the situation in Sichote-Alin, those hunting the region (Chinese, Koreans, native tribes and a few Russians) and the animals they encountered were confirmed in many respects. The difference is Arseniev made his observations a few decades earlier. Although Velter is silent regarding the period in which he travelled, my guess is it was in the thirties or forties of the last century.


JOSEPH VELTER

Velter combined hunting, travelling and writing. In the first decades of the last century, the sky was the limit. If you had the drive and means to do it, you could go anywhere. The world had many unknown regions in those days. Today, we post on a forum, but chances are some of us would have travelled and hunted a century ago as well. Perhaps. I would have.

Joseph Velter was experienced. So much so, he was able to survive nearly two winters, one spring, one summer and one autumn in a region known for sudden and violent wheather changes, terrible insects (flies and mosquitos), dangerous diseases (malaria, typhus and plaque included), dangerous animals (he was hunted and treed by wolves when on his own) and, above all, 'promyschlenniks' or 'taiga thugs'.

How do you survive in dangerous places? You travel with one or two companions and they know things you do not. Velter travelled with a man called 'Imquill', a Canadian with a very rich father, and Semjon Pawlowitch Pjetroff, a Russian deserter they had found more dead than alive in a remote region somewhere in Siberia on one of their travels. Imquill knew about following tracks, hunting and plants and herbs. Although he often suffered from malaria he had contracted, he was reliable, tenacious and a great tracker. Pawlowitch Pjetroff was a cook, a marksman (army) and he knew how, when and where to build a cabin. He also knew about the weather and it was because of this quality that he was able to save his companions more than once. In Sichote-Alin, they used a native hunter to help them as well.     

What do you need in order to travel year after year? You feel the need to do things your own way. You feel a desire to go to unknown places. You are interested in wild places, wild people and animals. You hunt to eat or to sell the skins in order to continue travelling. You respect wildlife, but in a different way than a 'greeny' in a big city today. And when you take a break in a hotel with a bath and roomservice, you long for the places you visited. And than you decide to go to Korea. Tomorrow.   


1 - LAKE CHANKA

The idea to visit the 'desert of forest', as Sichote-Alin was known, was discussed during another long hunting trip in Manchuria. They travelled from Harbin to Wladivostok and bought what they needed. They than travelled to Nikolsk-Ussuriskj. The first long trip was to the swamps west of the railway (from Chabarowsk to Wladivostok). They wanted to see the swan lake. 

They bought a boat and left in autumn. Drifting towards the north-west, they lost their way and had to survive a storm so severe it resulted in floods. In the reeds, when shooting for the pot, they mistook a wolf for a deer. Mistake. The the next night they heard the others of the pack howl. Closer and closer they came. They entered to boat and drifted further towards the north-west. No trees, just reeds, small bushes, grass and mud. So much  so, they had to sleep on the boat. Than they reached Swan Lake and saw what few saw. Birds and more birds as far as the eye could see. They shot a few for the pot, sold the boat in a village and than travelled to the north-east, towards the mouth of the Iman River close to the Ussuri. They bought a number of small horses and entered Sichote-Alin. Forest. A sea of forest. A desert of forest.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 06-07-2016, 04:09 AM by peter )

RED WOLVES AND WHITE TIGERS - JOSEPH VELTER - 1952 - PART II


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2 - SICHOTE-ALIN

a - The forest

Velter, Imquill and Pjetroff reached the junction of the Iman and the Ussuri rivers in late autumn. From there, the forest started. Mixed forest with a lot of undergrowth. They followed the Iman River until they reached the junction with the Waku River. Than they went south. At first, there were small Russian and Chinese settlements. When the mountains appeared, no more settlements were seen.

b - A tragedy

For two weeks, they followed the Waku River. Later, they followed the Tudawaku. At the place where the smaller Te-sy-da-gu River joined the Tudawaku, they made camp. Pjetroff took care of it and Velter and Imquill explored the forest. Velter entered a lot of observations in his diary. When he was after isjubr deer, he saw prints of Amur leopards. Two animals had hunted together.

Some days later, at the same place, they saw a Chinese man of about 60 years of age on his knees. They heard him, because he was performing a kind of ritual. The reason? Pan-Tshui (ginseng). He had found what he was after and was thankful. They followed him to his small hut and then left to follow the Amur leopards. Ten days later, they returned. They found the old man lying face down, shot in the back. The ginseng was gone. 

c - Promyschlennik

Baikov, some decades earlier, wrote about Manchuria and Sichote-Alin and the law of the taiga. The law says that two strangers who meet in the taiga shall retreat immediately. Each will then continue on his way. When one does not, the other has the right to consider this act as a threat and shoot. Why such a tough law?

One reason was the presence of 'promyschlenniks' or taiga thugs. They operated on their own or in small groups. Promyschlenniks didn't hunt themselves, but followed those who did. After they had found the cabin, they waited. In autumn, when hundreds of Chinese and Koreans entered the forest to hunt, the promyschlenniks were waiting near their cabins unseen. They let the hunters be for some months, but in spring, when skins had been collected and prepared, the promyschlenniks shot them and sold the skins on the nearest market. Promyschlenniks are the main reason many hunters have dogs.   

The law of the taiga says theft is worse than murder. If hunters catch a thief, a trial will follow. Thieves are either shot immediately (in Sichote-Alin) or tied to a tree for the tiger (in Manchuria). This probably is the reason why Manchuria had more man-eating tigers than Sichote-Alin.

d - Tigers

The upper Tudawaku River was known for tigers. Even in the thirties and forties of the last century, there were still tigers. One reason was the region was far away from settlements. Another was caves (...) and plenty of deer. Velter, Imquill and Pjetroff sensed them, but didn't see any. Someone else did.

e - How to hunt sable

Imquill, Velter and Pjetroff stayed near the Tudawaka River for quite some time. Every day, Imquill and Velter walked the forest. One day, they saw a cabin. They waited for the owner, who turned out to be a Korean hunter. He invited them into his cabin. A day later, he visited them and told them how to hunt sable.

Sable cross small streams by using trees that fell over these streams. In places where the forest is untouched by storms, sables can't cross streams for lack of fallen trees. In these forests, hunters place a tree over a stream. A trap is built on the tree. When the sable passes, he is caught. When he struggles, a stone will fall into the stream. The stone is heavier than the sable and the animal will drown. In this way, the skin is preserved (in winter). Tough place, tough people and tough methods.

f - The effect of poaching

Poachers often are the first to complain about the effect of poaching. The Korean hunter told Vetter that the number of sables he got was about 10% of the number his father got. A loss of 90% in one generation only, that is! He, like Arseniev and Dersu a few decades before him, thought most animals would be gone in a few decades.

g - The effect of World War Two

The slaughter of animals in Sichote-Alin was stopped because of World War Two. Many think the Sovjet-Union wasn't very active until the summer of 1941, but the Red Army had been involved in heavy fighting in Manchuria in 1938 and 1939. Zhukov, before he got known, was in command and got a decisive victory. The Japanese lost about 90.000 men and many think this is the reason Japan decided against invading Russia and opted for a different strategy in 1941. South-east Asia and the Pacific. Oil, that is. Stalin, for this reason, was able to transfer a number of Siberian divisions to Moscow two years later. It made a difference. 

In the summer of 1945, the Red Army defeated the Japanese Army in Manchuria again. After the war, many Chinese and Korean hunters had to leave Sichote-Alin. This development was crucial for Sichote-Alin and its wildlife in that the number of hunters dropped considerably. Russian hunters, from then on, were also subject to new hunting laws. Kaplanov's article on the plight of the Amur tiger had something to do with it as well. One cannot overestimate the impact of his article.         

h - A big Amur brown bear

Velter and his friends left the Tudawaku and travelled to the Ulache River, where they made camp and stayed for about three weeks. When the weather deteriorated, they build a cabin. Pjetroff in particular proved to be invaluable.

Just before the snows arrived, the small horses they had taken suddenly disappeared. No big deal, as they leave quite often to feed themselves in the forest. This time, however, they didn't return. The reason was a bear. One of the horses had been killed by a big brown bear.

Velter and Imquill waited near the dead horse and shot the bear in the evening. Velter, who had shot bears in Europe, The Urals and Central-Siberia before, thought he was the largest he had seen. The bear was estimated at 22 pud or 730 German pounds (365 kg.). The animal was an oldish male and he was black as the night.

Bears in eastern Russia, according to Velter, were larger than in Europe, the Urals and western parts of Siberia. Another difference was they often attacked the one who shot them, whereas bears in other regions, even when wounded, fled as a rule. 

Every mow and then, cattle hunting bears change from animals to humans. Velter knew about two man-eaters. The first one, in the Chogotskaja Mountains, had partly eaten two of the humans he had killed. The other, shot in Chanda, had killed and eaten at least a dozen (...).

Pikunov, when asked about the Amur tiger and the Amur brown bear many years later (by posters, I assume), said male brown bears were definitely not on the menu. He thought males of both species were about equal in tooth and claw, but the male bear was known for his endurance as well as his terrible temper. He had lost many friends to bears. To say Pikunov is experienced would be an understatement, so we have to go with him in this respect. I doubt if Pikunov was familiar with Velter's book, but Velter too confirmed Amur brown bears are not to be taken lightly.  

i - Weather changes and animals

Velter soon learned that violent weather changes were known to animals before they happened. When a storm was on its way to Sichote-Alin, the pressure fell and all animals disappeared for days. After an October storm, Velter and Imquill tried to find animals in the forest. They didn't see anything and thought the place was deserted. It wasn't. After the storm had passed, it started to snow. It was only then that they found that the place they had selected to stay was teeming with wildlife. Sable, different species of deer, bears, wild pigs, otters and wolves.

j - An Udege hunter who saw tigers

After the snow in October, Imquill fell ill as a result of malaria he had contracted some years before. Velter went out on his own. When following a muskdeer, he came upon a deserted giant pitfall. Some of these pitfalls, like Dersu (in 'Dersu, the Trapper') had said, were so large, that hundreds of animals succumbed.

Velter shot a small deer and returned to the cabin. During his walk, he found tracks of another, unknown, hunter. The tracks said he was limping as a result of an injury to his foot. Velter overtook him and invited him to the cabin. The Udege hunter stayed until his foot had healed. In the ten days he stayed, the Udege said he had seen two tigers not half a mile away. The tracks he saw said there were more tigers around, but Velter and his companions saw and heard nothing.

k - Red wolves

During their stay near the Ulache, Pjetroff constructed a wolf trap. There were many wolves, meaning the number of tigers probably was very low at that time (the thirties and forties of the last century). This confirmed the observations of Kaplanov later (less than 50 and probably only 20-40 tigers in all of Sichote-Alin in the mid-forties of the last century).

Pjetroff caught 23 animals, two of which were completely red. At first Velter thought they were exceptional, but later he learned red wolves were considered a different breed.

I don't quite know what to make of it. Based on what I read, I think Velter didn't see dholes (Cuon alpinus). The red wolves he saw were as large as the grey wolves and perhaps more predatory. He wrote red and grey wolves lived and hunted apart from each other.

l - A black fox

In late fall, the Udege, Imquill and Velter constructed traps for sable. Other animals were also trapped and one of these was a completely black fox. His pelt was later sold in Vladivostok for $ 400,00. The buyer was an American.    
 
m - The source of the Notoche ('Nyntou' in Udege)

In the last stages of the severe winter, Pjetroff, Imquill and Velter left their cabin. They reached the source of the Notoche River some weeks later. Near the junction of the Notoche and the Ulache, they saw a Chinese settlement  called Notochousa. It was one of the oldest Chinese settlements in Sichote-Alin. In the old days, all hunters met there. Notochousa lost its status when it was hit by different diseases. Many local tribes disappeared completely as a result of disease in those days.

Most huts had one room only and every hut was filthy and crawling with insects and disease. Many inhabitants were affected by disease. A few weeks later, near the coast (see -n-), they discovered human skulls. They had belonged to members of local tribes who had succumbed to the Manchurian pest. The pest?

Yes, it was the pest. The disease was transferred from small animals to humans by hunters. Many of those who lived in Sichote-Alin hunted in those days and outbreaks of the pest were more or less common from the coast to as far west as Lake Baikal. The Udege and the Gold told Velter that the disease usually raged for some months. Doctors were few and far between and only few of them visited settlements that were affected. Every outbreak resulted in a massacre. Local tribes in particular were often severely hit.    

n - Summer

When summer had arrived, Pjetroff, Imquill and Velter moved towards the coast, still close to the Ulache River. Until the snows arrived, they were tormented by flies and mosquitos.

In summer, most hunters (Chinese in particular, but Koreans and Russians as well) turned to deer. A few decades earlier, the Chinese were able to get hundreds at a time in immense pitfalls. When Felter and his companions were there, only few of those that remained were shot. Pitfalls had been declared illegal, but Felter, in spite of that, stumbled upon long forgotten pitfalls every now and then.

o - Hunted by wolves

In late summer, Velter hunted on his own because Imquill suffered from malaria contracted in inner-Siberia. He followed a deer. When he got the chance he was waiting for, he shot. The animal collapsed, but it wasn't the deer. Velter had shot the wolf who had selected the same animal (...).

In Sichote-Alin, wolves usually split up in two smaller packs when they followed deer in the forest. After shooting the wolf by accident, he noticed he was surrounded by the others. Although they didn't act aggressive at first, he decided to leave because he felt uncomfortable. Some time later, he noticed he was followed. He shot another wolf to discourage them, only to discover the entire pack was on his heels. When it was clear he was targeted, he climbed a tree. The wolves stayed close all night, but left in the morning. It was a pack of red wolves.

p - Tiger

Velter and his companions wanted to shoot a tiger at first and maybe even capture a young tiger. They knew tigers were close near the Ulache. During their search, they discovered small shrines made by Chinese hunters. In these shrines, they prayed for protection from tigers.

Velter discovered their prayers had a ground. In Nikolst-Ussuriskj, when they started their journey, they had heard many stories about humans killed and eaten by tigers. Soldiers, railroad workers, hunters and members of local tribes were hunted. Tigers were much feared back then.  

Tigers and humans also were competitors. They sometimes hunted the same animal and at times they met. Velter found out it wasn't hearsay the hard way.

One day in late August, he and Imquill were after isubjr. They found a place that could attract a deer. When they heard a male calling, they responded from their hide. The deer responded and got closer. When they could actually see him, they heard another call and it wasn't made by the deer or them (...). The deer got even closer, but suddenly ran like mad. The reason was he had discovered his enemy at the very last moment. It wasn't Velter and Imquill, but the tiger hidden in thicket only 15 yards away. Both Velter and the tiger were frustrated. When Velter was sure they were circled and intimidated, they had had enough. They left and never returned. No more tigers from then on.

But they couldn't escape them. In September and October, they saw their prints near the river they had selected and some were very large. The reason tigers were so close was wild pigs (Sus scrofa).

Pigs were not selected by hunters. There were just too many cases of humans ripped in pieces. In Sichote-Alin and Manchuria, wild pigs were much more aggressive and dangerous than in other parts of Russia. And in those days they were bigger than anywhere else. Velter and his companions wrote they saw boars of a size they had never seen before. They decided to stay away from them and decided to leave the area.

q - Dead forests

On their way towards the coast, they saw ghost forests of immense size. Hundreds of thousands of dead trees that had succumbed in the terrible storms typical for Sichote-Alin. They experienced more than one storm and saw the destruction it caused. Unexperienced visitors often were unable to understand the destructive power of storms. Many perished in places they should have avoided.

During one storm in October, the temperature, in a few days only, dropped from enjoyable for mosquitos to minus 35 Celcius. The snow that had fallen (about two meters) made every movement impossible. And the pristine forest near the Sudsiche River? Nearly completely gone. The scale of the destruction was difficult to conceive for Velter.

r - Salmon

I knew about salmon in Kamsjatka, but I was surprised to read salmon also entered many streams in Sichote-Alin. There were so many and so many animals profiting, that all rivers seemed like meeting places in large cities. Most visitors were wild pigs, bears (both brown and black bears), crows and magpies. They gorged themselves for many weeks.

When the rivers were so filled they seemed to contain salmon only, the dying began. The stench was unbearable. They left the area, but not after shooting a few bears (two brown bears and one Himalayan bear). The brown bears they saw were smaller than those living on the other side of the mountains. Velter called them 'Kamsjatka brown bears', but I think they were Amur brown bears.

s - Vladivostok

After the salmon, winter began. More storms, more snow and more destruction. Another factor that contributed to the decision to call it a day  was solitude. They hadn't seen humans in many weeks again and at times felt completely lost and intimidated by the immense forest and the potential dangers. Large bears, wild boars, tigers, leopards, wolves, disease and, last but not least, promyschlenniks took their toll in the end. A full year out in the open in Sichote-Alin was something that weighed on even the most experienced.

They left for Vladivostok, sold their skins, entered a nice hotel and enjoyed roomservice, big meals and nice company. But when you've experienced wild country for long periods of time, you won't last long in a city. In April, they left again. Korea it was. I'll try to find the book.
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