Just came across this good news on National Geographic that tigers are making a comeback, thanks to strong government initiatives in India, Thailand, and Russia. There are six remaining subspecies of tiger that live in 13 Asian countries — a habitat that’s reduced by 93% from their historic range. Conservationists estimate that only 3,200 tigers exist in the wild.
Joe Walston, Executive Director for Asia Programs at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), praised the three countries for taking action to protect their tiger populations. The animals are endangered globally.
In India’s Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks, for example, a combination of strict anti-poaching patrols, surveillance, voluntary relocation of people away from tiger habitats, and scientific monitoring have helped the big cats rebound to the point where they have saturated the two national parks.
In Russia, government officials are drafting a new law that makes the transport, sale, and possession of endangered animals a criminal offense rather than just a civil crime. This closes a loophole that currently allows poachers to claim they found endangered species like tigers already dead.
In Thailand, enforcement and anti-poaching patrols have been beefed up in the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
But these three success stories are rare bright spots for the endangered species, whose numbers continue to hover at all-time lows worldwide due to the combined threats of poaching, loss of prey, and habitat destruction.
Walston pointed out that saving tigers has other benefits also. He said:
“When we conserve tigers, we’re actually conserving a whole host of species that are maybe not as charismatic or iconic but are equally valuable and equally threatened.”