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Last week I was in China, largely to attend the "International Forum on Tiger Conservation and Culture" in Hunchun. I presented a paper on the second day on the tiger black-market, which I’ll elaborate a bit later.

There was some positive news for a change at the conference. Nepal has managed to get an increase in tiger numbers, notably at the Chitwan reserve.
Numbers in Nepal in 1974 were 110 tigers; over the period 1996-2000 estimates were 98-123 tigers; in 2005 estimated numbers were between 105-130; in 2008 121 and in 2010, deployment of lots of camera traps has allowed identification of 155 tigers.

China and Russia are continuing with plans to expand and link up their Amur (Siberian) tiger habitats. China has plans to expand their 4 reserves to link these up and current barriers between Russia and China (a consequence of past military conflict) will be made more porous.

I learned a little more about the smuggling incident in July in Hunchun. The most significant news is that the smuggler was caught with only 6 pieces of bone, rather than the 46 reported. That I have to say, makes a lot more sense.