July 29 is Global Tiger Day!
It was designated as Global Tiger Day at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010 to call attention to the severe decline of tigers in the wild. On this 7th Global Tiger Day, the Bronx Zoo and all of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), share ten tiger facts.
1. Wild tiger populations across Asia have diminished by 97 percent over the past 120 years – from an estimated 100,000 tigers to about 3,500 today.
2. Only about 1,000 of all remaining tigers are breeding females.
3. In Thailand’s Huai Kha Khaeng (HKK) Wildlife Sanctuary, strong Government of Thailand actions coupled with major investments by WCS, have dramatically reduced poaching and led to a steady increase in tiger numbers.
4. In tiger landscapes of Sumatra in Indonesia, WCS staff have worked with local communities to build more than 400 tiger-proof corrals to reduce livestock losses to tiger depredation – reducing the number of tigers captured and relocated or removed from the wild due to human-tiger conflict from about 10 annually in 2006 to 0 in 2016.
5. Strong conservation measures in the Russian Far East by the Government of Russia and conservation partners including WCS have enabled Amur (Siberian) tiger numbers to increase to approximately 500 animals from an all-time low of fewer than 50 in the early 1950s.
6. In Indonesia, the collaboration between the Government of Indonesia and WCS’s Wildlife Crimes Unit has been responsible for investigations of 772 wildlife crimes since 2003, resulting in 442 prosecutions that included scores of tiger poachers, traders, and wildlife trafficking kingpins.
7. The Government of China has made a strong commitment to tiger conservation by committing to the creation of a 5,600 square mile reserve for tigers – an area 60% larger than Yellowstone National Park – for tigers in northeast China this year. A comprehensive plan and roll-out is expected by 2020.
8. The Government of India has been courageously pursuing tiger conservation efforts by strongly supporting the voluntary resettlement of families who wish to move out of India’s tiger reserves. WCS has long provided critical technical support to these Government efforts.
9. Since the early 1970s, tiger numbers have nearly quadrupled in the Western Ghats of India’s Karnataka State, with 350-400 tigers now roaming across the region.
10. Tigers remain under serious threat across their range, but the strong commitment of local governments, local communities, and the consistent technical support from non-governmental organizations like WCS has led to many encouraging increases in various tiger populations across all of Asia. Thus tigers can have a bright future if these efforts continue. Source: WCS