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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 304-312

Local Attitudes Toward Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) Conservation in the Russian Far East

1 Sikhote-Alin State Nature Reserve, Primorskii Krai, Russia
2 Wildlife Conservation Society, Southern Boulevard, Bronx, New York, USA
3 Wildlife Conservation Society, Southern Boulevard, Bronx; Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Anna S Mukhacheva
Sikhote-Alin State Nature Reserve, Primorskii Krai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_20_135

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Public support is a necessary component of large carnivore conservation. We analysed public opinion on Amur tigers, Panthera tigris altaica, in Russia's Far East, the northernmost stronghold of the world's rarest big cat. We surveyed 1035 people in 5 settlements at increasing distances to tiger habitat. Overall support for tiger conservation was high (95.4%), although lower in more rural communities—especially among hunters—with limited socio-economic opportunities, and where tigers pose a higher perceived threat to livelihoods. Nearly 20% of respondents supported lethal removal of individual problem tigers that posed a threat to humans. Non-hunters, higher-income earners, and people who rated their communities' pre-college education positively showed less support for even such restricted killing of tigers. Hunters were more likely to support the idea of legalising tiger hunting (hunting tigers is a felony in Russia), and less likely to attribute tiger decline primarily to poaching. Despite strong support for tiger conservation in both urban and rural settings, a subset of the local populace is still engaged in poaching and trading of tigers, making improved situational crime prevention a needed focus of future efforts, alongside behaviour change campaigns promoting active resistance to poaching among tiger supporters. Abstract in Russian: https://bit.ly/3KBDU1A Supplementary material: https://bit.ly/37B3cPj

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