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Volunteers patrol for tiger poachers

Dec. 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM

BEIJING, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Animal activists in China asked volunteers to patrol northeast mountain areas to learn about Siberian tigers and help protect the animals from poachers.

The three-day project, part of an effort to make the public more aware of he plight of Siberians, was organized by the Chinese branch of the World Wide Fund for Nature, China Daily reported.

"We wanted the volunteers to learn more about the tigers through these activities, and to make sure more people know about the importance of conserving wildlife and protecting the environment," said Liu Yi, who is with the fund's China tiger program.

The volunteers, divided into three teams, patrolled Lanjia forest in Jilin and the Nuanquanhe and Dongfanghong forests in Heilongjiang province --the main habitats of the Siberian tiger in China.

"If we don't take action quickly, these big cats are likely to disappear from China," said Jiang Guangshun, deputy director of the State Forestry Administration Feline Research Center.

"The border area between China and the far-eastern part of Russia is their main habitat. So protection work is also being carried out in this area," Jiang said. "By doing more to protect these areas, we can build a migration corridor to connect Northeast China and Russia and provide tigers with a larger and more comfortable habitat."

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