"For the first time after decades of constant decline, tiger numbers are on the rise.”
Via Wikicommons (Image credit: Grassjewel)
Tigers are on track to make a roaring comeback. The endangered species have been striving to survive for decades, and now, their population is finally on the rise, up to at least 3,890 tigers from around 3,200 in 2010, according to conservationists.Increases were most pronounced in Russia, Nepal, Bhutan and India, home to the world’s largest wild tiger population.
"For the first time after decades of constant decline, tiger numbers are on the rise,” says Marco Lambertini, director general of the World Wide Fund for Nature International. "This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habitats when governments, local communities and conservationists work together."
Wild tigers have humans to thank for their being endangered. Not only do people destroy the felines’ habitats but they also kill them for their skin and parts. “Every part of the tiger — from whisker to tail — is traded in illegal wildlife markets, feeding a multibillion-dollar criminal network,” according to a statement by the WWF.
The wildlife charity suggests that improved surveys are responsible for the global rise in wild tiger populations, as are enhanced protection efforts on the part of countries with significant numbers of the feline. These nations pledged six years ago to double the world’s wild tigers by 2022. While their populations may no longer be facing a decline, the species aren’t completely off the hook until firmer action is carried out to reach the 2022 goal.
Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation at WWF, told Scientific American, “I think it’s doable, but it’s not going to happen without big mobilizations of additional resources and commitments.”