Get active for Tigers
In November, the long awaited Tiger Summit took place in St Petersburg. Some 3,000 tigers live in the wild - a 40% decline in a decade. It seeks to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. Hosted by Vladimir Putin, and attended by 5 Prime Ministers, it involved the 13 countries who are home to these magnificent animals. The Summit put together a tiger recovery plan, focusing on protecting tiger habitats, addressing poaching, illegal trade and providing the financial resources necessary for the plan. This is fantastic; a number of conservation groups pledged to put in money to save these wonderful animals, as did Leonardo DiCaprio & the World Bank, whose President, Robert Zoellick, takes a strong interest in the tiger. The World Bank has pledged to leverage further financial support from governments and the corporate world
Visit the International Tiger Forum here & read the National Geographic article, Hope for Tigers. This will be the first high level meeting anywhere to preserve an endangered species. It says the most important task is to make sure that tigers & their habitats are more highly valued than dead animals & empty landscapes.
Tigers have lived on this planet for more than 2 million years, with various subspecies of tiger, inclduing the Indian (Bengal), Amur (Siberian), Sumatran, Indochinese and South China tigers.
"Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
In the forest of the night..."
William Blake, 1757-1827
There are many projects worldwide working to protect tigers. London Zoo has projects to protect tigers & you can find out more about their conservation work here. London Zoo says that tigers in zoos help in 4 ways: educating & informing the public, fundraising, preserving genetic diversity over time & information gathering. The tiger European Endangered Species Programme has for example collected paw print measurements from tigers in zoos whose ages are known to help standardise tiger surveys where wild tigers are identified from their tracks.
You wouldn't ordinarily think of a bird charity supporting Sumatran Tigers, but that's what the RSPB is doing, working in conjunction with its sister organisations BirdLife International & Burung Indonesia. The RSPB explains there are now more Sumatran tigers in zoos than in their natural habitat, thanks to poaching & deforestation. The RSPB is working to bring the Harapan Rainforest back to life. Why not give someone a gift to plant trees in the rainforest? Over 90% of Indonesia's palm oil plantations are located in Sumatra, thanks to its ease of access. In 1900, Sumatra had over 16 million hectares of rainforest; today it has just 500,000.
More useful information
21st Century Tiger supports many projects in many of the 13 tiger range countries, particularly Russia, Sumatra & India. Responsible Travel has a number of tiger safari holidays listed in its travel directory
Get Close up & Personal!
Put some Tiger Magic into your life & Feed a Big Cat (and this could be a Lion or Tiger) - you'll literally be feeding the big puss while he or she is on one side of the fence, and you're the other. This could be a great gift for any Big Cat lover with a special birthday, perhaps? Get your paws on more info, T&Cs etc from Virgin Experience Days.