AboutZoos, Since 2008


Global wild tiger pop­u­la­tion increases, but still a long way to go

pub­lished 11 April 2016 | mod­i­fied 11 April 2016

TX2 wild adolescent tigers in indiaThe num­ber of wild tigers has been revised to 3,890, based on the best avail­able data, said WWF and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) ahead of a major tiger con­ser­va­tion meet­ing tomor­row in New Delhi to be opened by India’s Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

This updated min­i­mum fig­ure, com­piled from IUCN data and the lat­est national tiger sur­veys, indi­cates an increase on the 2010 esti­mate of ‘as few as 3,200′, and can be attrib­uted to mul­ti­ple fac­tors includ­ing increases in tiger pop­u­la­tions in India, Rus­sia, Nepal and Bhutan, improved sur­veys and enhanced protection.

For the first time after decades of con­stant decline, tiger num­bers are on the rise. This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habi­tats when gov­ern­ments, local com­mu­ni­ties and con­ser­va­tion­ists work together,” said Marco Lam­ber­tini, Direc­tor Gen­eral of WWF International.

global tiger status april 2016 infographicInfo-​graphic on global tiger sta­tus April 2016; © WWF

The meet­ing of tiger range gov­ern­ments at the 3rd Asia Min­is­te­r­ial Con­fer­ence on Tiger Con­ser­va­tion this week is the lat­est step in the Global Tiger Ini­tia­tive process that began with the 2010 Tiger Sum­mit in Rus­sia. Gov­ern­ments at that meet­ing agreed to the Tx2 goal to dou­ble wild tiger num­bers by 2022.

This is a crit­i­cal meet­ing tak­ing place at the halfway point in the Tx2 goal,” said Dr Rajesh Gopal, Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Global Tiger Forum. “Tiger gov­ern­ments will decide the next steps towards achiev­ing this goal and ensur­ing wild tigers have a place in Asia’s future.”

Over the three day meet­ing, coun­tries will report on their progress toward the Tx2 goal and com­mit to next steps. Prime Min­is­ter Modi will address the con­fer­ence on the essen­tial role tigers play as a sym­bol of a country’s eco­log­i­cal well-​being.

Tigers are clas­si­fied as Endan­gered by the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species, threat­ened by poach­ing and habi­tat loss. Sta­tis­tics from TRAF­FIC, the wildlife trade mon­i­tor­ing net­work, show that a min­i­mum of 1,590 tigers were seized by law enforce­ment offi­cials between Jan­u­ary 2000 and April 2014, feed­ing a multi-​billion dol­lar ille­gal wildlife trade.

The global decline has been halted but there is still no safe place for tigers. South­east Asia, in par­tic­u­lar, is at immi­nent risk of los­ing its tigers if these gov­ern­ments do not take action immediately.
Michael Baltzer, Leader of WWF Tx2 Tiger Initiative »

A strong action plan for the next six years is vital,” added Michael Baltzer. In order for coun­tries to pro­tect their tigers, it is essen­tial that they know their tiger pop­u­la­tions and the threats they face.

In 2014, tiger range gov­ern­ments agreed to announce a new global tiger esti­mate by 2016, based on full, sys­tem­atic national sur­veys. How­ever, not all coun­tries have com­pleted or pub­lished these sur­veys. The new min­i­mum esti­mate of close to 3,900 tigers is based on the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species account for tigers, updated for coun­tries where national tiger sur­veys have taken place since the IUCN assessment.

First image record of a tiger fam­ily in inland China!:

(Source: WWF Inter­na­tional YouTube channel)

WWF and the GTF com­mend the tiger range coun­tries that have updated their pop­u­la­tion fig­ures since 2010 and encour­age the remain­ing coun­tries to com­plete and pub­lish their pop­u­la­tion sur­veys as soon as possible.

(Source: WWF global news release, 10.04.2016)

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Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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