is to restore and protect biodiversity for the reintroduction of a genetically viable population of free-ranging South China tigers in suitable protected reserves in their former range in China.
The world’s most endangered tiger, the South China tiger, has walked our earth for 2 million years and is the root ancestor of all tiger subspecies, yet tragically, it is on the brink of extinction. About 100 remain, mostly in captivity. As an apex species, protection of the tiger means protection of its prey and a complete bio-diverse, balanced and protected ecosystem.
In partnership with the State Forestry Administration of China, the Chinese Tiger Project and its team of scientific advisors have developed an innovative big cat rewilding model to re-wild zoo-bred tigers, implemented productive breeding techniques, restored eco-systems on a landscape scale; and laid the foundations for the tigers’ reintroduction into its historic range in China.
Save China’s Tigers is a group of charities, working with partners such as the National Wildlife Research and Development Center of the Chinese State Forestry Administration, the Chinese Tiger South African Trust, Laohu Valley Reserve and Conservation Finance International to conserve the South China tiger and its habitat.
An ambitious and successful breeding program has increased the population base and gives the subspecies a chance to recover from the genetic bottleneck and the brink of extinction.
The South China Tiger Project has supported researchers and scientific studies across many disciplines such as cheetah reintroduction monitoring, camera-tracking photogrammetry and prey consumption rate assessment.
SCT continues to work with our partner, the State Forestry Administration, Wildlife Division in infrastucture planning and survey of candidate sites in China for future reintroduction of rewilded tigers.
SCT has innovated a conservation model that sees zoo-bred tigers made wild again. ‘Rewilding’ allows tigers to rediscover lost hunting skills such as camouflage, stalking, and ambush of wild prey such as boar and ungulates.
South Africa was chosen for its relatively cheaper land, abundant prey, conservation expertise and wildlife management skills. Laohu Valley Reserve encompasses over 300 sq. km bordering the Orange River.