What is WWF doing to reduce threats totigers in the wild?
WWF has been working to conserve tigers for over fourdecades. Tigers are ëflagshipí species for their habitats
thatis, charismatic representatives of the biodiversity within thecomplex and widely diverse ecosystems they inhabit. Becausethese animals need a lot of space to survive, their conservationwill help maintain biological diversity and ecological integrityover extensive areas and so help many other species,including humans. Healthy tiger habitat provides people withfood sources and clean water, and ecotourism in protectedareas that have tigers provides people with jobs and income,by saving tigers, we save so much more.WWF is working to protect the tiger through its ambitiousnetwork-wide Tiger Initiative, which consolidates andmagnifies work across the tiger
s range in a way that has neverbeen done before. Actions range from landscape-basedplanning and on-the-ground protection bolstered by regionalscale efforts to stop illegal trade, through to positivelyengaging the global drivers of tiger habitat destruction andworking with politicians at the highest levels to bolster thepolitical will needed to protect tigers in all 13 tiger range states.Only such a fully integrated approach will save the tiger.
Examples of current work to conservetigers in priority areas include:
operated as a joint programme byand between WWF and IUCN
The World ConservationUnion
work together to stop the illegal trade in tiger partsand derivatives through informer networks, research into thedynamics of the trade, and building the capacity of enforcement agencies to catch those involved, as well asencouraging the use of alternatives.
2. In the Russian Far East
, WWF is one of many partnersinvolved in vigorous anti-poaching and other conservationefforts (see Focus Project box).
3. In India, Nepal, and Bangladesh
, WWF works with manypartners to strengthen anti-poaching efforts, eliminate illegaltrade, establish well-connected protected areas, restorenatural habitat and reduce human-tiger conflict. The work includes establishing ecological corridors as well as improvingthe livelihoods of local people and reducing their pressure anddependence on forests.
5. In northern peninsular Malaysia
, in the Belum-Temengorforest complex, one of Malaysia's three priority areas of tigerconservation, WWF is working with partners to improve themanagement of tiger and tiger prey habitats, strengthenanti-poaching efforts, identify ecological linkages, monitorland-use changes and raise public awareness on wildlifeconservation.
6. In Sumatra, Indonesia
, WWF has successfully lobbiedcorporate partners and the Indonesian government to declarethe rainforest of Tesso Nilo as a protected area. Tesso Nilo
the last-remaining block of lowland tropical rainforest for theSumatran tiger and home to three per cent of the worldísmammal species
is fast disappearing due to large-scaleconversion to commercial plantations and illegal logging. The Government of Indonesia, together with all 10 provincialgovernors in Sumatra, committed at the IUCN WorldConservation Congress in October 2008 to prevent furtherforest loss which will help secure remaining habitat of theestimated 400 Sumatran tigers still surviving on thismega-diverse island.
7. In Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam
, acrossthe Greater Mekong region, WWF has identified keylandscapes for protecting and monitoring tigers and tiger preyspecies. In Thailand, WWF is concentrating its work within theKayah Karen Tenasserim forests that border with Myanmar.Meanwhile in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, work is focusedwithin the Lower Mekong Dry forests. WWF is working withgovernment partners to promote sustainable forest resourcemanagement and strengthen the management of keyprotected areas, especially improving law enforcement toreduce poaching and trade.
8. In Bhutan
, WWF is strengthening anti-poaching effortsalong with training police, customs and border security forceson recognizing and countering illegal wildlife trade. WWF isalso supporting the Royal government in realigning thecorridors system that joins all the protected areas in Bhutan,which is prime tiger habitat and has helped formulate theNational Tiger Action Plan of Bhutan.
, WWF is a key player in an effort to convene aHeads of State Summit for tiger conservation. WWF, theRussian government and the World Bank have agreed to helpestablish the Summit where the 13 tiger range state countrieswill be expected to make the strongest political commitmentsto saving wild tigers ever seen. The summit is to be hosted byPrime Minister Vladimir Putin and co-chaired by the WorldBankís President Robert Zoellick in Vladivostok, Russia inSeptember 2010. WWF is also a part of the Global TigerInitiative (GTI), which a coalition of NGOs and institutionssupported by a dedicated secretariat in the World Bank that isleading a process to engage the highest levels of governmentin this summit.
WWF Tiger anti-poaching brigade, Amur region, Russian Federation.© Hartmut Jungius / WWF-CanonConfiscated tiger and leopard skins,Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal.© Kevin Schafer / WWF-Canon