Around the world, big cats are one of the most admired animals but sadly their habitat is shrinking every day because of us. Their migratory paths often cut through populated areas and highways. One such example is on the border between Siberia and China where the Narvinskii Pass, a once small local road, turned into a four lane highway, preventing big cats to use their migratory trails. Now Russia has decided to take a step to protect these endangered animals.
The fact that the Narvinskii Pass is so vital to these animals was only discovered a little over 10 years ago by two researchers from the Zoological Society of London. They were collecting samples for DNA analysis and realized that the cats mainly used the Narvinskii Pass to migrate, which is now an important highway, built to connect Siberia with a burgeoning Chinese city.
the tunel will be one third of a mile long and will allow the animals to safely go beneath the highway
Tiger specialist Dale Miquelle of the Wildlife Conservation Society said Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff Sergey Ivanov initiated the effort to build a tunnel under the Narvinskii Pass that is one third of a mile long. The tunnel will allow the endangered big cats to go beneath the highway instead of trying to cross it.
If you might be wondering how nearly missing a tiger on the road looks like, check out the video below!
As the cats travel between Russia and China, it’s hard to get an estimate of just how many there are, but statistics from each country suggest there are only around 80 leopards left. According to World Wildlife Fund, the Amur leopard is critically endangered. The tigers are not that much better off since WWF puts their population numbers close to 540, which is honestly quite low.
It is definitely nice to see that countries are doing their best in order to help save endangered animals, taking care that our future generations will also be able to see these majestic creatures in person.
H/T to inhabitat