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Tigers and pesto: what’s the connection?

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With flavor as bright as its color, pesto is a delicious treat. And while basil is the star, pine nuts are a key ingredient in some recipes that provide a creamy texture and savory flavor.

But where do pine nuts even come from? Many come from pine trees across the Russian Far East and Eastern China—home to Amur tigers.

Pine nuts are a key food for deer and wild boar, the Amur tiger’s main prey. If we consume pine nuts faster than the trees can replenish, we’re taking away food from tiger’s prey and, ultimately, tigers.

Tigers used to be found in forests throughout Asia, from the Caspian Sea to Siberia and Indonesia. Today the animal’s range is a mere 7% of what it once was. Protecting tigers’ remaining habitats is critical to the survival of the species.

WWF works closely with local Russian communities and companies to help maintain areas used for sustainable forestry and nut harvesting. We’ve also helped create habitats that protect tigers as well as snow leopards and other wildlife.

Together, we are helping sustain forests and the pine nuts they produce for the benefit of local communities and tigers alike.

Read more about WWF’s work to protect Amur tigers and Russian forests.