We are living in a different world for this year’s Global Tiger Day, but we are still asking that you don’t turn your back on wild tigers and those working for wildlife.
Coronavirus has devastated communities across the world, and we are all getting used to the “new normal” with an unknown future ahead.
In the light of this, the quote paraphrased from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas rings true more than ever:
“Saving the tiger is a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet”
Biodiversity loss – the destruction of forests and land clearance for agriculture and infrastructure – is inextricably linked to emerging and continuing threats to human health. The unsustainable exploitation of wild spaces and wild species are drivers of both the appearance of zoonotic* diseases such as coronavirus and biodiversity loss.
In the last 100 years tigers have lost 93% of the habitat – decimated by deforestation, encroachment and unsustainable exploitation – leaving fewer than 4,000 tigers left in the wild, existing in fragmented and increasingly isolated pockets of diminishing forest.
As an apex predator, the tiger has a crucial place in Asian landscapes and its biodiversity. Protecting the tiger protects the balanced ecosystem across its range.
Coronavirus has changed lives and as we rebuild our society, we have the chance to rethink and rebuild a better world for all. We can stop the unsustainable exploitation of wildlife and wild places, invest in green infrastructure, tackle climate change and value equality.
WildCats Conservation Alliance is contributing to the stabilisation and growth of tiger numbers in protected areas in China, Russia, Nepal and Sumatra, and contributing to a picture of the population of Indochinese tigers in Thailand.
WildCats funds projects that tackle wildlife crime, by training and supporting Anti-Poaching Units so that they can initiate ‘Law Enforcement’ activities, which reduce the poaching of tigers and their prey in protected areas and buffer zones. Anti-poaching units combat all forms of poaching and other threats including illegal land clearance and encroachment. In Sumatra, your donations have resulted in the lowest level of tiger snares being set since 2008. In Russia, China, Nepal and Thailand surveying tigers and their prey, is building a knowledge bank that informs conservation planning. In Nepal where tiger numbers are increasing, community involvement in decision-making decreases human-tiger conflict.
We have yet to fully understand the impacts that coronavirus is having on endangered wildlife across the world, and for tigers specifically. In some regions, tigers may have benefited from lack of human activity but in many areas, rural poverty will have driven villagers into the forests for food, fuel, or livelihoods. Organised poaching will have taken advantage of authorities in disarray. There is anecdotal evidence of stockpiling illegal products until such time as covert trade routes are reopened or revised by traffickers.
Help us to keep rangers and scientists working for wildlife. #buildbackbetter #RethinkNature #rightthingfortigers #
What is Global Tiger Day?
Global Tiger Day was launched during the last Chinese Year of the Tiger (2010), by leaders of the 13 tiger range countries and NGOs working to protect these beautiful animals from extinction. Together, these advocates for wild tigers decided that by the next Year of the Tiger, the focus should be to double their global population, which at the time was estimated to be in the region of 3200. This is the time to celebrate the achievements so far.
The next Chinese Year of the Tiger begins in 2022. Help us to maintain momentum to reach this goal.