Tigers Clawing for Survival
Leaders from the 13 tiger range countries convened in St. Petersburg, Russia at the International Tiger Forum in November to discuss strategies to save the world’s remaining tigers. A century ago, the global population of wild tigers was estimated at 100,000. Poaching, habitat destruction and illegal trade have left only 3,200 alive today. In the past 70 years, three tiger subspecies have disappeared. In the next 12 years, experts say, wild tigers may go extinct altogether. To prevent this, delegates to the forum endorsed a historic Global Tiger Recovery Program aimed at doubling the world’s wild tiger population by 2022 through the implementation of 80 projects over the next five years. Five international organizations at the forum also signed a letter of understanding to create an International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). The ICCWC will work to strengthen laws against trade in tigers and other wildlife.