A recent estimation of the tiger population has revealed that around 3,900 tigers remain in the wild today and the big cat's population is stable or increasing in countries like India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and China.
Tigers have an important role to play in our ecosystem and their existence is important for the protection of our forests and wildlife.
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In 2010, countries with wild tigers made a commitment to double their numbers by 2022 and the conservation steps that have been undertaken have yielded positive results.
The long-term decline in wild tiger numbers has finally been reversed.
This hard-fought conservation success story has its origins in the last year of the Tiger in 2010 when the 13 countries with wild tigers agreed on a common goal for tiger recovery. And it has proved to be a turning point.
The past decade has seen successful conservation action in several countries across Asia – a doubling of numbers in Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park and an incredible threefold increase in Russia’s Land of the Leopard national park to name just two examples.
But historic threats, ranging from habitat destruction to illegal wildlife trade, have not gone away. While the global estimate for wild tigers may be on the rise, their numbers continue to decline in Southeast Asia with tigers now likely to be extinct in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam. And globally, the places where they live have continued to shrink.
As we enter a new year of the Tiger, there is a pressing need to continue tiger recovery efforts. In the upcoming Global Tiger Summit in September, heads of state and other decision-makers would have an opportunity to take action.
A tiger-friendly and people-centred approach is what needs to be taken in every tiger conservation work, from reducing consumer demand for tiger products to preventing conflict between tigers and the local communities they live alongside.
The Story Mug, a Guwahati-based blogzine, believes in telling stories that matter.