The 2022 Year of the Tiger is upon us. WWF’s most recent report examines how wild tigers have been reintroduced in the last twelve years, and the threats to the future of the iconic big cat.
Wild tigers numbers dropped to 3,200 in the last year of the Tiger’s reign, from an estimated 100,000 in the century before. The governments of 13 countries that had or used to own wild tigers met at St Petersburg’s summit, where they pledged to double the number of wild Tigers by 2022, the next lunar Year of the Tiger.
The WWF’s Impact on Tiger Recovery 2010-2022 Report combines more than a decade worth of collaboration with partners on Tiger conservation. It details both the lessons learned as well as the challenges.
TS) partnership across all the country’s 50 tiger reserves.
Forest restoration by community stewardship in a transboundary wildlife corridor from Nepal to India, the Khata corridor. This corridor has been used in five years by 46 individual tigers.
A massive 14,500 square meter area was designated as the largest protected area for tigers in China. km park at the Russia-China-North Korea border.
The Land of the Leopard National Park, eastern Russia, saw a tripling of tigers, due to effective actions to combat poaching of tiger predators and forest fires. There has also been a doubling of tiger populations in Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park, since 2012, which was made possible by the SMART monitoring tool, and other conservation measures.
Despite significant progress, there have been some declines in Malaysia, Vietnam, and Laos. Although wild tigers are increasing in number, their habitat has been decreasing. Today, tigers live in a fraction of their historical range. Habitat loss and fragmentation, climate changes, and illegal wildlife trading continue to pose threats to them.
Stuart Chapman, leader of the Tigers Alive Initiative said:
“The 2010 Tiger Summit launched a wide range of conservation initiatives for tigers. These results demonstrate the potential for long-term and collaborative commitments to species conservation. These extraordinary results are due to the dedication of conservation partners, field teams, and communities living in tiger habitats.
Becci May, Senior Program Advisor for Asia at WWF UK, stated:
Protecting tigers doesn’t mean saving one species. Wild tigers can be a sign of a healthy ecosystem by keeping herbivores under control, which helps to preserve healthy habitats. The tiger landscapes around the world play an important role in carbon storage in their forests, grasslands and soils and in mitigating natural disasters. We need to do more to stop and reverse nature loss, for both wildlife and humans.
At the 2nd Global Tiger Summit, Vladivostok, September, the next phase of the Global Tiger Recovery Plan’s second phase will be decided. This summit will have a major impact on the future of tigers conservation. It also offers an opportunity to establish a new goal for range expansion.
WWF will continue its support for core tiger conservation activities, including the effective management of protected areas and disruption of illegal wildlife trade. It will also reduce demand for tigers’ parts and products. WWF will continue to work with local communities to improve connectivity, promote tiger reintroduction within the former range, reduce human-wildlife conflict, and promote climate change adaptation, mitigation, and ecosystem restoration.