THE BENGAL TIGER, PERHAPS THE MOST AWE-INSPIRING OF ALL THE WORLD’S BIG CATS, IS STARING AT EXTINCTION, WITH ONLY ABOUT 1,700 LEFT.
And the Sumatran, Indo-China, Russian and South China tigers are even worse with numbers diving to around 450, 350, 360 and 10 respectively (we may already have lost the South China tiger). This means we have fewer than 3,000 of the most magnificent animals ever to grace our world, when only 100 years ago they numbered some 100,000.
The tiger has been threatened for most of our life-times with its rareness being one of its defining attributes. Worryingly, complacency has fostered a belief they will remain threatened or rare into the foreseeable future but this is not tenable. In fact, we have just one decade, maybe two, to avert this calamitous outcome. Please help.
With our long-term partner organisations in Vietnam, India and Indonesia, HSI has been resisting the enormous pressures facing remnant and dwindling tiger populations, but we need your support urgently. We work closely with Wildlife SOS India, Education for Nature Vietnam, and the Orangutan Project in Indonesia to fight the illicit tiger trade and protect the tigers essential habitats. HSI has supported these organisations for many years but we must find additional monies to meet our agreements with them. If successful we can continue putting dozens of people on the ground in these critical countries.
Our partners have invaluable local knowledge and we can guarantee they make things happen. There’s no substitute for ‘feet on the ground’, as our anti-poaching work in India has shown with the arrest of some of the most notorious wildlife traffickers.
The monies raised will also aid our work with hundreds of conservation group colleagues in the global Species Survival Network—which specialises in fighting wildlife trade.
Are we chasing shadows?
It’s true, bringing tigers back from the edge needs human intervention and also the animal’s own remarkable resilience. However,most authorities agree that we can still win this battle providing it is waged with a professional focus on a proven strategy. HSI and its partners have this focus and with your help we will use everything in our toolbox to ensure a future for these magnificent animals
The tiger’s plight is well known: massive habitat destruction fuelled by exploding human populations have reduced theirs by some 90%. Along with safe forests, they are also losing their prey-species and coming into more conflict with humans. This usually results in their deaths—and when it’s a female with young, the tragedy is even greater.
Down? Yes, but with your help, not out
Please donate today
Verna Simpson and Michael Kennedy
The other virulent threat comes from poaching for a staggeringly brutal black market in tiger parts. Indeed, the massive demand for traditional medicines may bring about the tiger’s demise. The cruelty involved in these ‘medicines’ is unimaginable. Caught in incredibly painful traps, they agonise for days until the poachers return. If they’ve not already succumbed they are often poisoned or crammed into cages to waste away because they are worth more dead than alive. Alternatively, they face appalling conditions in tiger farms in Vietnam, Thailand and China for a bizarre range of products including wine made from tiger bone to aid arthritis, or tiger penis soup as an aphrodisiac. And these injustices are made even sadder as the ‘remedies’ have have long been exposed as mythical and useless.