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Tiger summit: save the big sick cats

November 22, 2010

While the whole idea of Current Instincts is to write from the point of view of animals, sometimes we just can’t bring ourselves to do it. Like with Prop B, when we felt it was too depressing to write from the point of view of a dog advocating for better regulations on puppy mills, I can’t bring myself to write as a tiger about the tiger summit happening in Russia this week. So I will write as a human who would be incredibly sad if these animals were added to the extinction list.

Just look at how awesome this guy is.

As we wrote about last Wednesday, government leaders from 13 countries are meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia this week to discuss how to save the big sick cats. It’s estimated that only 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, and only 1,000 of that number are breeding females. These are very sobering numbers, and tiger experts say unless drastic changes are taken, tigers could be extinct in as little as 12 years.

The 13 countries meeting, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam, are known as the “tiger range.” These countries have pledged an estimated $330 million to try and double the tiger population by 2022. Part of the summit will be dedicated to figuring out how much money each conservation effort will get.

Tigers face a lot of threats, mainly poaching and deforestation. There is a huge black market industry involving the sale of tiger parts. Many people believe tiger parts have medicinal value, or wear tiger parts fashionably.

There is good news though. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) predicts that with an additional $35 million a year going towards conservation efforts, the female population could thrive in the next decade. Hopefully, the money promised at the tiger summit will be enough to give tigers a fighting chance.

Global warming has been the “it” environmental issue for the better part of a decade now. While global warming is obviously a huge issue that every nation has to work to combat, lose of biodiversity is also an important issue that is being overlooked. If tigers go extinct, it will not only leave us with one less big sick cat, but it will affect all the animals and plant life wherever tigers are found in ways we aren’t even aware of yet. Since human activity is the main cause for the loss of these animals, it’s up to us to make sure we save the tigers.


If you’d like to help save the big sick cats, make a donation to the Wildlife Conservation Society here, or sign the petition.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. morethangray permalink
    November 22, 2010 11:33 pm

    this is a great post. i’m following the goings on this week at the tiger forum, and hope to see spectacular teeth in the policy that comes out of the meeting. financing and enforcement are necessary to ensure conservation action accompanies the good intentions of the participants.

    • November 23, 2010 10:00 am

      Thanks so much for reading our post and commenting. We really hope this summit leads to effective conservation efforts to help the tigers bounce back!

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