Pride earns its stripes in China

A camera catches the impact of a Pride Campaign to save Siberian tigers

A tiger’s stripes allow it to disappear into the forests and tall grasses of its natural habitats. But in northern China in the late 2000s, tigers were disappearing for a different reason.

Some villagers in Jiling Province near the border with Russia and North Korea were illegally setting wire traps to catch deer, wild boar, and other game. But they were also snaring tigers. This was bad news for a species already on the brink. By 2008, there were only 20 tigers in all of China—a quarter of them living in the Hunchun Nature Reserve in Jiling.

Lang Jianmin, who worked at the reserve, knew that the tigers’ survival depended on people changing their behavior. So at the suggestion of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), he applied to be a part of Rare’s Pride program in China hoping to inspire local communities to stop the illegal trapping. Rare trained Lang as a Pride Campaign manager, teaching him behavior change and social marketing techniques to help him spread his conservation message.

In leading the Pride campaign, Lang listened to members of the community to understand why snares were being set. He worked with local partners to shift social norms away from the illegal activity. And he held events to inspire community members to take pride in protecting the Siberian tiger. The campaign even featured a tiger mascot.

Did the Pride Campaign work? Well, here’s what Lang is seeing today…

The video of a mother and her three kits was captured by a camera in the nature reserve in October 2018. Today, the tiger population is up to 27.

Lang credits this great achievement to the Pride campaign and Rare’s training. We’re honored to partner with local leaders like Lang — a core tenant of our local, community-led approach to conservation.

To learn more about Lang’s Pride Campaign, click here.