COS 140-1 - Effects of human related factors and prey scarcity on the population of Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) under climate change

Thursday, August 10, 2017: 8:00 AM
B113, Oregon Convention Center


Yu Tian, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science; Yuxue Pan, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Science


The Siberian tiger is one of the flag species of the boreal forest ecosystem in northeastern China and Russian Far East. Because of the dramatic declined of its population during the past century, it attracted lots of attention of scientists in this research field, and policymaker in China and Russia. We studied possible effects of climate change on the Siberian tiger by integrating species distribution modeling (SDM) and population viability analysis (PVA), but did not considered the effects of their prey in our previous study. In this study, we projected the potential habitat for comparing the impacts from anthropogenic factors and tigers' prey under the climate change (three scenarios from the 2007 IPCC Report), and evaluated the population density and extinction risk for 100 years. Through comparison of projected potential habitat via a series of controlled simulation experiments based on the climate change, prey effects, and other anthropogenic factors scenarios, we addressed the following questions: (1) how would anthropogenic factors and prey change affect the area of suitable habitat for the Amur tiger in the face of climate change? (2) would the tiger survive in the next 100 with the effects of human related factors and prey scarcity under the climate change.


The results showed that, the projected potential habitat would expand northward under all climate change scenarios considered no matter with or without human effects and prey scarcity, but it would be more severely fragmented than that with them, and the prey of the tigers is more important than other factors for the geographic distribution for Siberian tigers in face of Climate change. The results of population density and extinction risk showed that the prey scarcity still had the substantial negative impacts on the tiger population density, but the effect of land use/cover will lead to the population to a continuous decline until finally extinction, and difficult recovered. Other human related factors, such as road distance, had less influence on the long-term fate of the tiger population. The climate change made the effects of these factors even worse, and highly speeded up the extinction of populations, especially under the worst climate change scenario (A1B). Our study demonstrated that coupling SDM and PVA could provide important insights into assess the effects of different factors. Our study provides new insights into the metapopulation dynamics and persistence of the Amur tiger, which should be useful in landscape and conservation planning for protecting tigers.