Tiger Update: The Good, Bad, and How You Can Make a Difference

There’s good news and bad news since I first wrote about grreat news for tigers in 2017. Two years ago, there was cause to celebrate because the wild tiger population was on the rise for the first time in over a hundred years. A 2016 wildlife survey estimated that the wild tiger population had increased by almost 25{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} to 3,890 tigers.

Here’s the good news:

Back in 2010, at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit, nations joined together to work towards a goal to double the tiger population. This was an ambitious goal, and the good news is that there’s already a country on course to meet this goal.

Nepal announced in September 2018, that they were on track to double their wild tiger population. In a 2017/2018 national survey, they counted 235 tigers in the wild, as compared to only 121 tigers in 2009.

The Nepalese government joined forces with non-profit organizations, World Wildlife Fund and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation, to strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, monitor tiger populations, and restore critical corridors to ensure tigers can travel easily throughout the country.

Unfortunately, here’s the bad news:

A month after Nepal announced their remarkable achievement, China legalized the medical use of tiger bones from captive bred animals. This effectively reversed a ban that had been in effect for 25 years.

But, there’s a silver lining:

There was a worldwide public outcry after China’s announcement to allow the use and trade of tiger bones again. As a result, only a few weeks after the announcement, China changed their stance, stating that they would postpone the legal use of tiger bones until after further study.

Currently, there haven’t been any major updates to the situation. However, you can make a difference by supporting organizations like World Wildlife Fund and the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation in their work to save tigers.

You can also avoid visiting touristy “wildlife parks” that offer the opportunity to bottle-feed cubs or get your picture taken with a lion or tiger. Many of these “attractions” are actually farms for illegally supplying big cat bones to Asia, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.

Share this with friends who are traveling in South Africa or Asia, so that they can avoid big cat tourist traps and instead donate the money to tiger conversation.

Here’s where you can learn more:

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Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.