The year 2010 will be celebrated as the Year of the Tiger by many Asian countries, beginning February 14. An excellent opportunity to report that tigers are in crisis around the world, so thought World Wildlife Fund (WWF). This includes the tigers kept in captivity, and not those which are kept in zoos. In many of the United States of America there are no controls on individuals keeping tigers as pets. Current estimates indicate that there are more than 5,000 tigers in captivity in the United States. This exceeds the 3,200 tigers that still exist in the wild throughout Asia, where they are threatened by poaching, habitat loss, illegal trafficking and the conversion of forests for infrastructure and plantations. (Source: WWF)
Tiger population has decreased by about 95 percent since 1900 and its range has decreased by 93 percent. Three tiger sub-species have gone extinct since the 1940s and a fourth one, the South China tiger, has not been seen in the wild in 25 years. Tigers occupy just seven percent of their historic range. But they can thrive if they have strong protection from poaching and habitat loss and enough prey to eat.
A registration scheme for all captive tigers and a means to monitor disposal of dead tigers is urgently needed to ensure they aren’t exploited for the illegal trade. WWF is releasing a new interactive map of the world’s top 10 tiger trouble spots and the main threats against tigers. WWF is also launching a campaign: Tx2: Double or Nothing to support tiger range states in their goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
The real trouble spots regarding tiger endangerement can be found here.