Today the 27th of September 2010 is International Tiger Day, it has been set aside by all those who care about the Big Cats to highlight the state of the Tiger in the Wild. It was in Russia that International Tiger Day was started nine years ago by The Phoenix Fund, a non-governmental organization founded by Russian and U.S. conservationists.
Panthera is an organization which focuses entirely on conservation and education efforts to protect the big cats has been actively speaking out for the tigers. Panthera’s president is Mr.Alan Rabinowitz a leading cat expert who has traveled the world on behalf of wildlife conservation and over the years has studied jaguars, clouded leopards, Asiatic leopards, tigers, Sumatran rhinos, bears, leopard cats, raccoons, and civets. He has also authored many articles and books on the subject.
Panthera’s Tiger Program director is Dr.Joe Smith who is working on Panthera’s “Tigers Forever” Program. If you have been following us, you might remember reading in our last part of the Disappearing Stripes series about the new study which suggested focusing on the key sites across Asia which were more viable to the Tiger’s survival. Panthera’s Tigers Forever program is working with the Wild life conservation Society that aims to increase tiger populations in key sites by at least 50% over the next years.There is a detailed interview with Dr.Joe in the National Geographic, you can read it here.
Tigers Forever is mitigating direct killing of tigers and their prey by:
- Enhancing law enforcement patrols through rigorous training to protect tigers, their prey and habitat in and around core areas,
- Using informant networks to investigate and apprehend poachers and others conducting illegal activities, and
- Training of government and other NGO staff to carry out the best scientific methods on the ground.
Tigers Forever is currently being carried out in six countries:
- Lao PDR
So What Threatens the Tiger?
The largest cats in the world! What could be threatening them?
- Wild tigers are directly hunted both to meet the demands of the illegal wildlife trade market, and due to human-tiger conflict, where local people take retaliatory measures to protect themselves and their livestock.
- Tiger habitat is either being destroyed due to conversion for agricultural purposes and human development, or fragmented, leaving only isolated ‘postage-stamp’ size areas that are not sufficient for the long term survival of wild tigers.
- Tiger prey, like deer and wild pigs, have been overhunted by people either for subsistence or for sale on the black market. Lack of wild prey increases the chance of tigers feeding off of livestock, which in turn fuels human-tiger conflict.
Check out Panthera’s tiger report card HERE
2010 is the Year of the Tiger, but less than 3,500 tigers exist in the wild today. You can help by making a contribution to Panthera now to ensure the future of the world’s endangered tigers.HERE
Tigers Need our help now before it is too late.
Below is the trailer for the BBC movie – The Lost Land Of the Tiger (it follows Panthera’s President Alan Rabinowitz and a team of scientists as they search for tigers in the kingdom of Bhutan.