30.01.2022 – 10:00
WWF World Wide Fund For Nature
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According to the lunar calendar, the Chinese New Year on February 1st marks the beginning of the “Year of the Tiger”. The nature conservation organization WWF is calling for more efforts and a stronger political will to protect the last wild tigers on the occasion of the symbolic date. Stopping poaching and illegal wildlife trade and consistently preserving the habitats are the key to the survival of the big cat – and with it countless other animal and plant species. According to the WWF, it remains to be seen whether the tiger states will achieve their original goal of doubling the population from 3,200 in 2010 to 6,400 in 2022. Many countries are currently counting their national tiger populations with extensive monitoring. The current, official figure comes from 2016. At that time there were almost 3,900 copies.
“The tiger has become a symbol for species and nature conservation worldwide. Whoever protects the tiger protects so much more,” explains Kathrin Samson, tiger expert and head of the Asia program at WWF Germany. “Tigers inhabit a wide variety of habitats in Asia – from the snow-covered forests of Russia to the tropical jungle regions of Indonesia.” Tiger protection serves to preserve biological diversity and even the climate if tropical forests are not converted into plantations. Therefore, in the future one must also think about more reintroduction programs in suitable regions, such as in parts of Southeast Asia. The WWF estimates that without this support for stocks, global tiger numbers could stagnate for many more years and, in the worst case, even decrease.
“We need an honest, scientific cash register in all tiger range countries to know where we stand at all,” says Samson. “We know that countries such as India, Nepal or Russia have achieved their goals and even set new ones to secure the future of these endangered species and ensure peaceful coexistence with local people. They are home to significantly more wild tigers today than they were in 2010. These countries show that with appropriate political prioritization, the tiger can be saved,” says Samson.
Background: year of the (water) tiger 2022
According to the lunar calendar, a new year begins on February 1, 2022. From that point on, there is a change from the year of the ox to the year of the tiger – in interaction with the element of water. The tiger is one of twelve zodiac signs in Chinese astrology. According to the Chinese horoscope, the big cat stands for courage, adventure, optimism, assertiveness and willingness to take risks. The element of water, on the other hand, stands for purification, a new beginning. Further information: www.wwf.de/jahrdestigers
The habitat of the tiger covers only around five percent of its once huge distribution area in Asia. According to WWF estimates, there were only around 3,200 wild tigers left in the world in 2009. By 2016, the number had risen to around 3,890. In 2010, the last tiger year, at a summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, the international community committed to doubling tiger populations within twelve years. In contrast, it is estimated that there are around 20,000 tigers in so-called tiger farms, with private breeders, in amusement parks or circuses worldwide. The 13 Tiger States include Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia and Thailand. Also, although no wild-loving tigers have been recorded there for ten years, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Habitat destruction and lack of prey, poaching and climate change continue to threaten the survival of the species in the wild. Further information: www.wwf.de/tiger
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Original content from: WWF World Wide Fund For Nature, transmitted by news aktuell