Third of en­dan­gered tigers at risk

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

A third of tiger con­ser­va­tion ar­eas sur­veyed by wildlife ex­perts are at risk of los­ing the en­dan­gered cats, WWF has warned.

An as­sess­ment of 112 pro­tected sites across 11 coun­tries found 35% of them, the ma­jor­ity of which are in south-east Asia, had ma­jor man­age­ment is­sues which left their tiger pop­u­la­tions at risk of rapid de­clines or van­ish­ing en­tirely.

The find­ings have prompted calls from con­ser­va­tion­ists for bet­ter man­age­ment of and more funds for pro­tected ar­eas that are home to tigers.

Tiger pop­u­la­tions have plum­meted from an es­ti­mated 100,000 a cen­tury ago to fewer than 4,000 in the wild to­day, as a re­sult of poach­ing, habi­tat loss and con­flict with hu­mans, WWF said.

The sur­vey by WWF and part­ners in­cludes places that are home to 70% of the world’s wild tigers and found that only 13% of them were meet­ing global stan­dards of tiger con­ser­va­tion.

En­force­ment against poach­ing and re­la­tions with lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties were among the weak­est el­e­ments of man­age­ment, it found.

De­spite poach­ing be­ing one of the big­gest threats faced by the big cats, 85% of the ar­eas sur­veyed do not have staff ca­pac­ity to pa­trol sites ef­fec­tively.

And while 86% of ar­eas in South Asia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, In­dia and Nepal, and in Rus­sia and China said fi­nances were or were on the way to be­ing sus­tain­able, only 35% of ar­eas in south­east Asia were in the same po­si­tion.

John Barker, head of In­dia and China pro­grammes at WWF said: “It’s clear that many pro­tected ar­eas are not liv­ing up to their name.

“Far from be­ing a safe haven for tigers, there is a real risk that they will be lost for­ever.”

Tiger pop­u­la­tions have fallen from 100,000 to 4,000

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.