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Russian jailed for felling `Siberian tiger` trees

Last Updated: Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 09:48

Moscow: A resident of Russia`s far east was
sentenced to nearly four years in prison for having chopped
down trees necessary for the preservation of the massive
Siberian tiger, World Wildlife Fund has said.

"It`s extremely rare that a person is sentenced to prison
in such a case," said a WWF representative in Amur, Russia`s
Primorye region, in remarks cited by the Ria Novosti news
agency yesterday.

A WWF representative and a forest inspector reportedly
questioned the man last year in an area where more than 2,600
cubic metres of Korean pine had been cut illegally.

The trees provide the foundation of a critical food chain
on which the Siberian or Amur tiger is on top,
environmentalists say.

Local logging operations over the past half century have
decimated the Korean pine, WWF says, and illegal logging

Earlier this month, forest inspectors discovered a swathe
of land on which up to 3,000 cubic metres of pine and other
trees had been cut illegally.

The world`s largest cat, the Amur tiger was on the brink
of extinction in the 1940s, with only about 40 tigers
remaining in the wild, according to WWF.

While the population has since recovered thanks to
conservation and anti-poaching efforts, the environmental
group says logging and other threats pose new challenges to
its survival.


First Published: Saturday, February 13, 2010 - 09:48

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