At the International Tiger Forum, Governments of 13 countries that host tiger populations have agreed to double tiger numbers by 2022 and endorsed the St. Petersburg Declaration in an effort to save the Asian big cat from extinction. Actions will focus on protecting the tiger’s habitat, addressing poaching, illegal trade and providing the financial resources for this emergency plan.
Over the last century, tiger numbers have plummeted from about 100,000 to less than 3,500 tigers in the wild today. Three sub-species of tigers have already completely disappeared and the fate of the other six is at stake. The last decade alone has seen a decline of almost 40% in tiger numbers and habitat as a result of human-made threats, such as, in particular, habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade and poaching and human-tiger conflicts.
In order to stop its devastating decline, the 13 countries have agreed to strengthen international collaboration to protect the majestic Asian wild cat.
Scientific monitoring will be improved to help restore the species’ habitats and its trans-boundary corridors. Halting poaching and illegal trade of tigers and tiger products is a core component of the conservation strategy.
Creating incentives for local people to protect tigers and strengthening wildlife law enforcement and legislation will be vital to achieve the ambitious St. Petersburg targets. It is hoped that conflicts occurring between tigers and local communities will be reduced by involving local people more actively in biodiversity protection.