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Fighting for tigers in the Year of the Tiger

In 2022, we enter the next Chinese Year of the Tiger, which happens every 12 years, and marks a milestone for tiger conservation.

In September 2022, the second International Tiger Conference is due to take place in Vladivostok, Russia. Government representatives will gather together from the 13 countries where tigers are a native species.

We hope to be in Vladivostok to share our expertise and to make sure that we keep up the pressure on the world’s governments to help save tigers from extinction.

Tigers on the brink

Over the last 100 years, the population of the world’s tigers has crashed by 96%, leaving these magnificent big cats on the brink of extinction.

In many parts of South East Asia, tigers continue to be farmed, trafficked and killed for their body parts. Seen by wildlife criminals as “walking gold”, they’re reduced to the value of their skins, bones and teeth.

What’s the latest for tigers?

In 2010, the last Year of the Tiger, global leaders came together in St Petersburg for the first International Tiger Conference. There, they pledged to save the tiger. Since that summit, the story for tigers has been mixed.

Good news

© Sagar Paranjape

© Sagar Paranjape

  • The global wild tiger population has risen from 3,200 to 4,000.
  • The number of wild tigers in India, Nepal and Bhutan has increased. India, in particular, has shown exceptional commitment to protecting the tiger and has dismantled organised crime networks that were systematically poaching tigers.

Bad news

© EIAimage - Captive Tiger Cub - Thailand

© EIAimage

  • Wild tigers have become extinct in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
  • The number of tigers held in captivity in tiger ‘farms’ and ‘zoos’ has risen alarmingly. Over 8,000 tigers are kept in brutal conditions, bred for their body parts, mainly in China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
  • Countries where people buy tiger rugs, bones, teeth, claws and meat have not done enough to reduce consumer demand or to tackle the commercial breeding that drives further demand.

Where tigers still roam

Tiger Map

In 2010, when the St Petersburg Declaration on tiger conservation was signed, 13 countries were considered ‘tiger range states’ - countries where wild tigers live.

India has the highest number of tigers in the wild, followed by Russia. Across South East Asia, numbers of wild tigers are in sharp decline.

Since 2010, there have been some examples of good practice and positive outcomes, but overall, globally, we have let the tiger down. In the run up to the next International Tiger Conference in 2022, we need to see real leadership and real action: an end to all trade in all tiger products, from all sources.

Debbie Banks, Tiger Campaign Leader

Our action plan to save tigers

We’re calling on governments to commit to concrete measures to protect tigers, including:

  • An end to all trade in tigers, including animals from so-called tiger ‘farms’ and ‘zoos’, where tigers – including cubs – are kept in truly barbaric conditions.
  • A zero tolerance approach to the rapacious demand for tiger products such as tiger skins made into rugs, bones used in traditional Chinese medicine, teeth and claws worn as jewellery, and meat eaten as an ‘exotic’ delicacy.
  • More effective law enforcement against the illegal trade in tigers and criminality in the captive tiger trade.

Hope for the world’s tigers

Siberian Tiger - PixabayWe launched our Tiger Campaign 25 years ago. At that time, we – and many others working in tiger conservation – thought tigers would be extinct by the end of the 20th century.

There is still reason to be optimistic for the world’s tigers. Things are far from perfect, and there is no room for complacency. But the lessons we’ve learned over the last 25 years are to be tenacious, to be the voice that will speak truth to power, and to be the catalysts for change.

With your help, we can push governments to take tougher action to save wild tigers and combat the deadly illegal wildlife trade.

Take a stand for tigers

© EIAimage - Tiger Skin and Permit

© EIAimage

We’re a long way from seeing wild tigers restored as apex predators across their natural range. Will you help us take a stand for tigers?

By donating today, you can help us to:

  • Fight to save tigers and other big cats.
  • Lobby governments to tackle wildlife crime.
  • Carry out undercover investigations that disrupt the criminal networks behind the illegal wildlife trade.

Please donate today to help us fight to preserve wild tigers and all the endangered animals that we protect. On behalf of everyone at EIA, thank you.

Debbie Banks, Tiger Campaign Leader