The tiger is a majestic and ferocious animal. There is a reason it's the national animal of India. Yet, its story is one of sadness, much like the whales of sea.
A century ago, more than 100,000 tigers roamed the globe, ranging from Turkey and the Caucasus to eastern Siberia and Indonesia. But decades of logging, development, and poaching have whittled the tigers' habitat down to just 13 countries
However, after years of bad news, WWF had this news to share today -
The number of wild tigers has been revised to 3,890, based on the best available data, said WWF and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) ahead of a major tiger conservation meeting tomorrow in New Delhi to be opened by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This updated minimum figure, compiled from IUCN data and the latest national tiger surveys, indicates an increase on the 2010 estimate of ‘as few as 3,200’, and can be attributed to multiple factors including increases in tiger populations in India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan, improved surveys and enhanced protection.
Vox does a great job highlighting a) why it is important b) why counting tigers is particularly hard and c) why we are still in the slog overs when it comes to preventing extinction of this majestic animal.
Here are two points of data that are particularly egregious -
India is a great case study. A century ago, some 45,000 tigers wandered the country. By 2006, there were just 1,411 remaining, confined to a small handful of wildlife reserves and encroached on all sides by development.
And, ultimately, 3,890 tigers worldwide is still pretty paltry. To put that in perspective, there are about 5,000 tigers in private captivity in the United States alone.
Here's hoping the world getting its priorities right and bringing back harmony for the endangered species of the world.