Today marks International Tiger Day - a global day to raise awareness about the world’s largest wild cat, and what’s at stake. Unbeknownst to many, fewer than 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, and their survival is threatened due to rampant poaching for the illegal wildlife market, where their skins and body parts are traded at a high price.
But all is not lost, and hope for this majestic cat remains. I’ve just returned from Indonesia where Panthera convened our 7th annual Tigers Forever meeting. Over the course of five days, we brought together 22 partner organizations, united in the fight to protect tigers, representing the world’s leading tiger biologists, law enforcement specialists, criminologists and international policy experts from across Asia. While the challenge to ensure a long-term future for wild tigers is steep, we’re seeing real signs of hope, where tigers are making a comeback and we are gaining ground in the fight to save them.
Some good news coming out of our meeting includes the following:
- Due to tremendous law enforcement efforts by the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation group, tiger numbers are surging in Tambling, in southern Sumatra, Indonesia. Just last year in Tambling, we documented the highest density estimates ever recorded for tigers in Sumatra, a place that once was overrun with poachers;
- Panthera’s longest running Tigers Forever site in Malaysia, with the Wildlife Conservation Society, now has stable tiger numbers and we’re ramping up security to help protect this critical population;
- Panthera’s efforts in south India, with the Nature Conservation Foundation and Karnataka State Government, are securing one of the largest systems of connected Protected Areas in all of Asia, allowing tigers to move safely among breeding populations;
- Three poachers were recently arrested around Corbett, India after being photographed by our PantheraCams; and
- We continue to develop and distribute Panthera's camera traps, the best model on the market, which we are now evolving into PoacherCams: real-time surveillance technology to help monitor remote areas; and
- We have expanded our Tiger Task Force to include new experts in site security, criminology and surveillance to bring much needed expertise in our fight against poachers.
Through our Tigers Forever program, Panthera is working in 14 sites across six countries in Asia, with 13 on-the-ground partners. Never before have so many groups worked together in a concerted manner, with shared goals and the same metrics of success to protect tigers. Together, we are currently impacting 33% of the world's remaining wild tigers, but we need help to do more and increase our reach. We need to grow our tiger force and extend support to additional sites so that we tackle the most urgent threats to this great cat's survival throughout it's range.
Tigers Forever is leading the charge, but we can’t do this without you. Please join with Panthera, and support our efforts to stop poachers in their tracks and to create secure places so that tigers can live in the wild, forever.
Donate now to help protect wild tigers on International Tiger Day.
Watch a short video below on the success of our Tigers Forever site with Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dr. John Goodrich, Panthera’s Senior Tiger Program Director