As many Asian countries prepare to celebrate Year of the Tiger beginning February 14, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that tigers are in crisis around the world, including here in the United States, where more tigers are kept in captivity than are alive in the wild throughout Asia.
As few as 3,200 tigers exist in the wild in Asia where they are threatened by poaching, habitat loss, illegal trafficking and the conversion of forests for infrastructure and plantations.
WWF is releasing a new interactive map of the world’s top 10 tiger trouble spots and the main threats against tigers. WWF is also launching a campaign: Tx2: Double or Nothing to support tiger range states in their goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
The issues highlighted in the trouble spots map (www.worldwildlife.org/troublespots) include:
Pulp, paper, palm oil and rubber companies are devastating the forests of Indonesia and Malaysia, home to two endangered tiger sub-species;
Hundreds of new or proposed dams and roads in the Mekong region will fragment tiger habitat;
Illegal trafficking in tiger bones, skins and meat feeds a continued demand in East and Southeast Asia;
More tigers are kept in captivity in the U.S. than are left in the wild -- and there are few regulations to keep these tigers from ending up on the black market. The largest numbers of captive tigers are in Texas (an estimated 3,000+), but they are also kept in other states;
Poaching of tigers and their prey, along with a major increase in logging is taking a heavy toll on Amur, or Siberian, tigers;
Tigers and humans are increasingly coming into conflict in India as tiger habitats shrink;
Climate change could reduce tiger habitat in Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangroves by 96 percent.
Three tiger sub-species have gone extinct since the 1940s and a fourth one, the South China tiger, has not been seen in the wild in 25 years. Tigers occupy just seven percent of their historic range. But they can thrive if they have strong protection from poaching and habitat loss and enough prey to eat.
"Tigers are being persecuted across their range – poisoned, trapped, snared, shot and squeezed out of their homes," said Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF’s Tiger Initiative. "But there is hope for them in this Year of the Tiger. There has never been such a committed, ambitious, high-level commitment from governments to double wild tiger numbers. They have set the bar high and we hope for the sake of tigers and people that they reach it."
In the U.S., the government does not track how many tigers are in captivity within its borders, where they are, who owns them, or what happens to their body parts when they die. In many states, there are no controls on individuals keeping tigers as pets. Current estimates indicate that there are more than 5,000 tigers in captivity in the United States, more than exist in the wild. A registration scheme for all captive tigers and a means to monitor disposal of dead tigers is urgently needed to ensure they aren’t exploited for the illegal trade.
In the lead up to the Vladivostok Summit, all 13 tiger range countries recently committed to the goal of doubling tiger numbers by 2022 at a ministerial meeting in Hua Hin, Thailand. They will be helped in this goal by WWF and other members of the Global Tiger Initiative. The Summit will be co-hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and World Bank President Robert Zoellick.
"We may not get another opportunity like this with so much political will from the tiger range countries and attention from so many institutions and people around the world," said Sybille Klenzendorf, Director of the WWF-US Species Program. "The situation for tigers is a sobering one, but if we seize this moment and maintain it for the long term, the next Year of the Tiger may give us real reason to celebrate."
Lee Poston | EurekAlert!
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy