Amur tigers

Study reveals secret lives of tigers


A new study finds that tiger mothers in the Russian Far East tend to be stay-at-home moms, and when it comes time for kids to move out, they sometimes let a few of them hang around at home.

Publishing their results in the journal Mammal Research, researchers with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Panthera looked at 18 years of VHF telemetry data in and around the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, Russia to gain insight into home range size and reproductive status of female Amur tigers.

They found that home range and core area sizes of females collapsed by 60 percent after giving birth to their cubs. Moms stayed close to the den site, presumably to protect and nurture young cubs. As the cubs matured and became more mobile, mothers took their cubs to larger and larger portions of their home range. After 18 months the mothers had generally reclaimed their original home range.

The authors say the results of the study support two hypotheses of space use by large carnivores: that adult breeding females achieve higher reproductive success by maintaining a home range just big enough to feed herself and her offspring, and a second hypothesis that females sometimes will expand home range size when space is available to allocate land to daughters. Eventually, daughters may end up sharing or completely taking over the home range of their mother.

The full article was published by Newswise on March 1, 2021.