Wild tiger population rise
It’s been hard to escape the international press news about wild tiger population rise. It’s fantastic and positive news for everyone working in tiger conservation – whether in the field or fundraising – proving that our hard work has not been in vain.
What is important is to consider the data and science behind the headlines. In Sumatra and Malaysia specifically, there has not been an official census for some years. These are both due to happen by the end of 2016.
The news release from WWF comes at the start of the 3rd Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in New Delhi following from the inauguration of the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) in 2010. It is an interesting read, especially if you would like to delve a bit more into how these figures came about. You can read the report here
What must be pointed out, despite the focus on the good news, is that there is a long, long way to go before the future of the wild tiger is secure. Not all countries have made progress they agreed to in the last GTRP meeting in 2014. Without baseline data these new figures are still just estimates. We must also take into consideration that while some countries are succeeding in bolstering tiger populations, others are failing to protect their few remaining tigers.
Tigers are under threat from habitat destruction and fragmentation and from organised international wildlife crime. There are many good inspirational people working hard to stop this. They need our help. We need better science, more technology, stronger enforcement. We have much more to do.