Conservation of Tiger

Conservation of Tiger

Project Animal(s) : Tiger (Panthera tigris)
Project Category : Mammals
Project Region : Asia
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

The tiger is included in Appendix I of CITES. The tiger is protected over most of its range. Hunting is prohibited in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. There is no information for North Korea available.

Various initiatives have been launched to conserve the species and many tiger conservation efforts have been undertaken at local, regional, national, and international scales. Among the most notable early conservation efforts, “Project Tiger” was launched in India in 1973 as a nationwide effort to counter the disappearance of tigers in that country. Project Tiger contributed to the establishment of dedicated tiger reserves throughout India. Over the past several decades many other countries have launched their own tiger conservation efforts, with varying success.

Recognizing the crisis facing tigers and tiger habitat throughout Asia, political leaders of the 13 tiger range states and representatives of conservation NGOs and donor organizations signed the St. Petersburg Declaration (a Global Tiger Recovery Program) in 2010, with the goal to stabilize and eventually double the population of wild tigers by 2022 to at least 6,000 individuals. The following goals and actions are intended to help reach that goal:

  • Preserve, manage, enhance and protect tiger habitats;
  • Stop poaching, smuggling and illegal trade of tigers, their parts and derivatives;
  • Cooperate in transboundary landscape management;
  • Work together to combat illegal trade;
  • Include indigenous and local communities in planning and implementation;
  • Increase the effectiveness of tiger and habitat management; and
  • Restore tigers to their former range.

Recognition among policy makers that economic development, conflict over land use, human-wildlife conflict, and domestic and international trade in wildlife are major threats to the survival of tigers will be necessary for long-term conservation to succeed.

There is widespread agreement that conservation of large and suitable habitats for tigers is needed, including the linking of core tiger populations. Landscape analyses have estimated that tiger reserves could support more than double current tiger numbers but that national and international commitment and cooperation for conservation will be crucial for success. “Source” populations and core protected tiger areas are unevenly distributed and may represent only 6% of current tiger range. Protecting and monitoring these remaining breeding populations, establishing and protecting corridors and transboundary conservation areas to support gene flow among disjunctive populations, are conservation priorities.

Reduction in human-caused mortality of tigers and tiger prey is also crucial for long-term survival of tigers in the wild. This must include stopping the illegal killing and trade of tigers and their parts, conservation of tiger prey, and effective management of conflict between tigers and humans through improved livestock management, the inclusion of local people into the monitoring and management of tiger habitat, and other approaches.

Local, regional, national, and international support is needed to address other direct and indirect threats, including: economic drivers of habitat loss and illegal activity, and production and movement of pollution and other environmental stressors. A successful management towards recovery of tier populations requires mitigation of disease threats, participation and cooperation of diverse stakeholders, strengthening of conservation laws, institutions, and financial resources, reduction of graft, and changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour of people and institutions that ultimately impact tigers and their habitat. A wide diversity of conservation and restoration activities are ongoing throughout the tigers range to address these challenges.

Project Agency : Cat Specialist Group

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