Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Siberian Tiger Pounces Back From Brink

After decades of chilling population declines, the Siberian tiger may be treading toward a slightly sunnier future. Hunted down to 40 animals, the Siberian tiger barely survived the 1940s. Since then it has slowly clawed its way back, with help from a Russian hunting ban and the efforts of conservation groups. In 2005 the Wildlife Conservation Society estimated the subspecies at 431 to 529 animals worldwide. But the world's largest wild cat—such as this mother and cubs photographed in Russia in the mid-1990s—has now grown in number to about 600, the highest such count in over a hundred years, according to a new Russian census heralded by the international conservation organization WWF.

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