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Siberian tigers & Amur leopards Photography tours! Come to discover wild Russia!

Canada Wolverine Offline
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(12-07-2018, 11:38 AM)peter Wrote: Nice translation. So you're interested in helping out when I go to Russia to measure tiger skulls? I could definitely use a man interested in tigers and able in Russian. Canada is not too far away, is it?

No problem with translation, but I afraid that my wife (by the way she is Russian) is not gonna be very enthusiastic about my possible trip  Ha Ha more specially concerning financial part.... 

Otherwise no big deal, I'm in Vancouver, want to escape as you the endless winter rains (Amsterdam is just a waterless desert in comparison with Vancouver) and have a dream since a childhood to visit Ussuriland but always delay. Sometimes I'm really sorry that I'm not a bachelor...
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( This post was last modified: 12-07-2018, 02:01 PM by Wolverine )

(12-07-2018, 11:35 AM)peter Wrote: Many thanks for the answers, Olga.

I hope you understand that the points I mentioned in my previous post were not mine. They were offered by people I know. They're not really interested in the natural world. Those who are, will come no matter what. I'll find some people interested in one of the tours you offer sooner or later. 

As to the skulls. I read a book written by Charly Russell called 'Grizzly Heart'. It was published in 2002. Charly, a brown bear authority, visited Russia to raise orphaned young brown bears in Kamchatka. Before he could start work, he needed permission from authorities working for an institute dedicated to conservation in Chabarowsk. Before they talked about his project, he was shown an enormous collection of tiger and bear skulls by Dr. Juri Dunishenko and Dr. Alexander Khulikov. He wrote the collection was enormous. 

I also know there is a museum or institute in Vladivostok that has tiger and bear skulls. It also has a famous diorama showing a brown bear and a tiger.

I wrote to Dr. Dale Miquelle about tiger skulls some years ago. He said he didn't know anything about the institutes in Chabarowsk and Vladivostok. He was interested, but I don't think he can help out.

I'll try to find the correct names of both institutes.

Here the question is: what happens with the skulls of Amur tigers dying from old age in the forest, do forest rangers and scientists collect them or leave them in the forest. If they collect them where these skulls go and are they stored somewhere. Its not necessary Peter that all tiger skulls go in museums of the big cities or institutes of RAS, its possible that majority of the skulls (if they are collected at all)  are stored in some storehouses or rooms inside the Sihote Alin state reserve or Lazovsky state reserve or in the local  museums attached to the particular national parks or reserves. I think that your idea of measuring dozens and dozens of tiger skulls is a bit over-optimistic, its quite possible that in no one particular place are stored more than 4-5 skulls. So here Olga could give a definitive answer by asking local forest rangers.
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Russian Federation Olga.bohai Offline
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(12-07-2018, 01:49 PM)Wolverine Wrote: Here the question is: what happens with the skulls of Amur tigers dying from old age in the forest, do forest rangers and scientists collect them or leave them in the forest. If they collect them where these skulls go and are they stored somewhere. Its not necessary Peter that all tiger skulls go in museums of the big cities or institutes of RAS, its possible that majority of the skulls (if they are collected at all)  are stored in some storehouses or rooms inside the Sihote Alin state reserve or Lazovsky state reserve or in the local  museums attached to the particular national parks or reserves. I think that your idea of measuring dozens and dozens of tiger skulls is a bit ambitious, its quite possible that in no one particular place are stored more than 4-5 skulls. So here Olga could give a definitive answer by asking local forest rangers.
Do you know that it is impossible to find Amur tigers remains if they die on natural causes? Udeghe people even have the legend about mysterious mountain Sangeli on Bikin river where old tigers go to die.
As for killed tigers remains - I know that scientists collect them to educate. I still can't catch the scientists through the phone. I'll proceed to try on Monday, also we'll be in leopard photography tour since Tuesday and I'll able to visit Leopard Land scientist department, let you know about the results.
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(12-07-2018, 01:58 PM)Olga.bohai Wrote: Do you know that it is impossible to find Amur tigers remains if they die on natural causes? Udeghe people even have the legend about mysterious mountain Sangeli on Bikin river where old tigers go to die.

There is something almost super-natural in such a phenomenon, if it is true, its not clear what happens with the bodies of the dead old tigers in such a case, they cant evaporate in 3D or 5D parallel worlds...
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Russian Federation Olga.bohai Offline
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(12-07-2018, 02:12 PM)Wolverine Wrote: There is something almost super-natural in such a phenomenon, if it is true, its not clear what happens with the bodies of the dead old tigers in such a case, they cant evaporate in 3D or 5D parallel worlds...

I think they try to find the best shelter which is possible if they feel bad first of all to protect themselves against attacks.
If you know Russian watch this movie, really very interesting, you'll enjoy if you found of Ussuri taiga and Siberian tigers Amur tiger. Sangeli
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-13-2018, 07:50 AM by peter )

(12-07-2018, 11:35 AM)peter Wrote: Many thanks for the answers, Olga.

I hope you understand that the points I mentioned in my previous post were not mine. They were offered by people I know. They're not really interested in the natural world. Those who are, will come no matter what. I'll find some people interested in one of the tours you offer sooner or later. 

As to the skulls. I read a book written by Charly Russell called 'Grizzly Heart'. It was published in 2002. Charly, a brown bear authority, visited Russia to raise orphaned young brown bears in Kamchatka. Before he could start work, he needed permission from authorities working for an institute dedicated to conservation in Chabarowsk. Before they talked about his project, he was shown an enormous collection of tiger and bear skulls by Dr. Juri Dunishenko and Dr. Alexander Khulikov. He wrote the collection was enormous. 

I also know there is a museum or institute in Vladivostok that has tiger and bear skulls. It also has a famous diorama showing a brown bear and a tiger.

I wrote to Dr. Dale Miquelle about tiger skulls some years ago. He said he didn't know anything about the institutes in Chabarowsk and Vladivostok. He was interested, but I don't think he can help out.

I'll try to find the correct names of both institutes.

FOLLOW-UP

I did a lot of digging and came up with these two museums in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok:

Khabarovsk: Regional Lore Museum (or a zoological museum of a university in that city)
Vladivostok: Arseniev State Museum of Primorsky Region

I reread part of the book 'Grizzly Heart' I mentioned before. It was published in 2002, but Charly Russell and co-author Maureen Enns visited Khabarowsk in 1994 or 1995 to talk to Dr. Juri Dunishenko and Dr. Alexander Khulikov. I couldn't find the name of the institute they visited to talk to Dunishenko and Khulikov, but they wrote it was an important scientific institute with more than 400 Amur tiger skulls.

I hope you can make out which scientific institute they visited in 1994-1995, Olga. If not, we might try to contact Russell and Enns trough a Canadian (British Columbia?) website. There has to be a way to find out which institute they visited in Khabarovsk.
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Russian Federation Olga.bohai Offline
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@peter

I've come back from the Leopard Photo tour and ready to answer the questions.
First of all, I spoke to the scientists of Sikhote Alin reserve and Leopard Land National park.
Sikhote Alin reserve utilize all tigers' remains which are rarely found in the forest, so they don't have any sculls.
Leopard Land sends all remains to Lazovsky reserve and they're stored somewhere there, I will give you the contacts of one foreign scientist who works in that reserve (I suppose she is American) in private message.

As for Vladivostok and Khabarovsk museum I think it could be better if you write them directly as a scientist with your questions:

Arsenyev museum in Vladivostok office@arseniev.org

Khabarovsk Archeology museum hkm.pr@mail.ru, grodekov@mail.ru

Khabarovsk wildlife foundation in which Dunishenko and Kulikov were involved (in English) http://www.wf.ru/Information_about_Foundation_en.html

I hope it will help you!
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-21-2018, 11:39 AM by peter )

Many thanks for the answers and addresses, Olga! It will most certainly help.

As for the trip and the skulls.

I want to do the canoe or the hiking trip in fall next year or spring 2020. Just before or after the trip, I visit a museum or scientific institute to measure skulls. 

I'll inform you about the progress made every now and then.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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SOME MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT TIGERS AND BEARS

Research says tigers hunt female brown bears with cubs more often than was assumed. You said that female brown bears, as a result, had left some districts. It's known that male tigers hunt bears in particular. When female brown bears leave a district, they have to find alternatives. Anything known on what male tigers hunt apart from bears? Or do they follow bears?

It's known that tigers, even those who often hunt adult female brown bears, do not hunt male brown bears. You said they seem to avoid each other. Is this true for both, or is one avoiding the other? What's the opinion of your guides on male tigers and bears?

According to Dmitry Pikunov, female brown bears with cubs can be dangerous. During his career, 27 people were killed by brown bears. Some of them were collegues. Would you say brown bears in the Russian Far East are more dangerous than elsewhere? Any particular reason?
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Russian Federation Olga.bohai Offline
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(12-21-2018, 12:03 PM)peter Wrote: Research says tigers hunt female brown bears with cubs more often than was assumed. You said that female brown bears, as a result, had left some districts. It's known that male tigers hunt bears in particular. When female brown bears leave a district, they have to find alternatives. Anything known on what male tigers hunt apart from bears? Or do they follow bears?

It's known that tigers, even those who often hunt adult female brown bears, do not hunt male brown bears. You said they seem to avoid each other. Is this true for both, or is one avoiding the other? What's the opinion of your guides on male tigers and bears?

According to Dmitry Pikunov, female brown bears with cubs can be dangerous. During his career, 27 people were killed by brown bears. Some of them were collegues. Would you say brown bears in the Russian Far East are more dangerous than elsewhere? Any particular reason?
I wouldn't say that tigers hunt bears (both males and females) intentionally, this is not their main diet, their favorite are wild boars. But they can kill and eat bears if they meet each other on the forest trails. They rarely follow bears in the forest.
Tigers hunt bears' cubs because it is easy for them. 
I wouldn't say Russian brown bears are more dangerous in the Far East than others, people are killed by brown bears mostly because of their ignorance and incaution in the forest. Almost the same reason for people killed by Amur tigers: may be 90% cases is human fault. All tigers which became human killers were attacked by the humans before.
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Finland Shadow Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-22-2018, 03:28 PM by Shadow )

(12-22-2018, 12:15 PM)Olga.bohai Wrote:
(12-21-2018, 12:03 PM)peter Wrote: Research says tigers hunt female brown bears with cubs more often than was assumed. You said that female brown bears, as a result, had left some districts. It's known that male tigers hunt bears in particular. When female brown bears leave a district, they have to find alternatives. Anything known on what male tigers hunt apart from bears? Or do they follow bears?

It's known that tigers, even those who often hunt adult female brown bears, do not hunt male brown bears. You said they seem to avoid each other. Is this true for both, or is one avoiding the other? What's the opinion of your guides on male tigers and bears?

According to Dmitry Pikunov, female brown bears with cubs can be dangerous. During his career, 27 people were killed by brown bears. Some of them were collegues. Would you say brown bears in the Russian Far East are more dangerous than elsewhere? Any particular reason?
I wouldn't say that tigers hunt bears (both males and females) intentionally, this is not their main diet, their favorite are wild boars. But they can kill and eat bears if they meet each other on the forest trails. They rarely follow bears in the forest.
Tigers hunt bears' cubs because it is easy for them. 
I wouldn't say Russian brown bears are more dangerous in the Far East than others, people are killed by brown bears mostly because of their ignorance and incaution in the forest. Almost the same reason for people killed by Amur tigers: may be 90% cases is human fault. All tigers which became human killers were attacked by the humans before.

That was interesting, when here was first mentioned about what Pikunov had said. I was mainly interested at that point if that claim was concerned about it, how bears act with tigers and maybe more aggressive towards tigers than normally seen with other smaller predators like wolves and wolverines etc.

What comes to humans, bears are quite harmless if/when people understand bears and how they behave. So many people have strange thoughts and simply lack of information. In my country everyone gets some basic knowledge about predators living here, especially about the bears and wolves, because those can be met in whole country. Last time a man was killed by a bear was 1998 if I remember right, anyway those cases are extremely rare. By wolf last time has been in 19h century, I don´t remember exactly when now, but about 130-150 years ago. Still reasonable people understand, that what situations can be dangerous and how to avoid getting in "danger zone".

For ordinary people who walk in the woods it is quite easy to avoid bears. Keep some noise, normal talking etc. Especially if walking against the wind. That is usually enough because bears go away if they hear that someone approaches. Potentially dangerous situations are those, where you manage to get close to a bear and surprise it so, that it gets frightened. In that situation it is impossible to know if it flee or attack, both can happen even though especially young bears tend to flee if there is room for that. Another is naturally if managing to get between mother bear and cubs, there you need nerves of steel and calm behavior to get away unharmed. Just getting near mother bear and cubs isn´t as dangerous, even though also there you need to understand bear behavior well and again be able to be calm.

One dangerous place is if you manage to get nearby the bear den, when it has just started hibernation and if I remember right also when it is close to wake in the spring. These bears can be very unpredictable if someone disturbs them so, that waking up. Accidents have happened for instance when dogs in moose hunt have noticed bear den and went there, that is dangerous for dog and hunter following dogs barking can have a nasty surprise when getting closer. 

But anyway bear is in normal conditions a very calm animal avoiding humans when it notices them. You can go through the forest with a lot of bears perfectly safely, if you just understand nature of it. It is said, that bear is like an old wise man, who doesn´t want to be disturbed, but if that happens, it can snarl sometimes.

I put here one video to show how an experienced bear expert acts, there is situation with a mother bear. They teach us, that if you meet a bear and manage to surprise it, never turn your back for it, move away backwards facing it all the time. Talk to it calmly. That demands naturally nerves or steel, but... well see yourself :) Look from 0:47 to 1:07 how a mother bear acts. And how this man gets out of "danger zone".




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Finland Shadow Offline
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( This post was last modified: 12-22-2018, 05:18 PM by Shadow )

(12-22-2018, 12:15 PM)Olga.bohai Wrote:
(12-21-2018, 12:03 PM)peter Wrote: Research says tigers hunt female brown bears with cubs more often than was assumed. You said that female brown bears, as a result, had left some districts. It's known that male tigers hunt bears in particular. When female brown bears leave a district, they have to find alternatives. Anything known on what male tigers hunt apart from bears? Or do they follow bears?

It's known that tigers, even those who often hunt adult female brown bears, do not hunt male brown bears. You said they seem to avoid each other. Is this true for both, or is one avoiding the other? What's the opinion of your guides on male tigers and bears?

According to Dmitry Pikunov, female brown bears with cubs can be dangerous. During his career, 27 people were killed by brown bears. Some of them were collegues. Would you say brown bears in the Russian Far East are more dangerous than elsewhere? Any particular reason?
I wouldn't say that tigers hunt bears (both males and females) intentionally, this is not their main diet, their favorite are wild boars. But they can kill and eat bears if they meet each other on the forest trails. They rarely follow bears in the forest.
Tigers hunt bears' cubs because it is easy for them. 
I wouldn't say Russian brown bears are more dangerous in the Far East than others, people are killed by brown bears mostly because of their ignorance and incaution in the forest. Almost the same reason for people killed by Amur tigers: may be 90% cases is human fault. All tigers which became human killers were attacked by the humans before.

I would say to this, that I haven´t found indication for it, that tigers would eat bears so much. In some reports there has been peaks making exceptions to what could be considered normal. But overall bears are in quite small part as food source for tigers, was it 1,5-2%. And when thinking bear size, that isn´t so many individuals per year after all. I am not sure to what exactly is based idea, that tigers would have been hunting bears more than was known. I don´t buy that at this moment at all.

When thinking, that there are both black bears and brown bears included and percentage is very low, it is not indicating to anything dramatic. Even though there have been times, when in some areas tigers have for some reason eaten more bears than usually, but not all the time. Some year or years only.

Or did I miss something?
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( This post was last modified: 12-23-2018, 02:56 PM by Wolverine )

I also don't think that Amur tigers are addicted bear hunters and lets not forget that brown bear is by far the largest carnivorous animal in the forest. Two species co-exist wonderfully in Ussuri forests thousands of years and both thrive there. Probably the reasons that sometimes looks like tigers hunt too much bears is that statistics includes a killed bear cubs also on category "bear", so its not always possible to distinguish among adult bear and bear cub in the statistics. 
I'm curious to see any new photos or videos of carcasses or residuals of adult or subadult brown bear (any sex) killed by tigers from last 1-2 decades.
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( This post was last modified: 12-23-2018, 06:39 PM by Shadow )

I add this much still to what comes to it, that how many bears are killed annually by tigers. I have calculated sometimes what percentages mean in numbers of individuals. It is naturally clear, that not all remains of dead animals are found. So estimations has to be done based on information what there is. But when knowing roughly how much meat tigers usually eat, it is quite easy to calculate rough estimation about annual need and then understand, what for instance 2% of tigers annual consumption is in kilograms. Then again when making estimation how much there is to eat in one animal, for instance from a bear tiger might eat 65-75% (?). 

I don´t put here now figures, because I feel, that not enough information for many things. Anyway when making some calculations it is easy to get some idea in what range numbers are when thinking about bears. If someone haven´t done this kind of cold valuations, there might be surprises. But I haven´t seen anything especially extraordinary, what comes to this subject, in a long time. Lately some interesting new information to think about, but not what comes to numbers, instead what comes to possible behavior of these animals. 

That is what I meant, that I disagree in a way, what comes to it, that lately we would have got information, that tigers hunt bears more, than we knew before. I haven´t seen any dramatic change in figures, same kind of percentages with some variation when in some area(s) has been happening something unusual. Still overall percentages seem to be quite stabile.
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So beautiful. I did saw a documentary on Siberian tigers and would one day love to visit Siberia, Russia & if possible Altay Mountains.
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