1. The global tiger population has plummeted by over 95% in the last 100 years – from 100,000 a century ago to as few as 3,200 and falling today. There are reportedly fewer than 120 wild tigers left in Nepal – and probably less than 30 in all of China.
2. Tigers are being robbed of their natural habitat by human population growth and the demands of the lumber and palm oil industries. Tigers occupy 40% less territory than they did 10 years ago and just 7% of their original range.
3. Three of the nine original tiger sub-species became extinct in the 20th century. Many scientists believe another, the South China tiger, is extinct in the wild.
4. One of the many threats to the tiger is the continued illegal demand for tiger body parts in potions or as curios. Bottles of tiger bone wine – made by soaking tiger carcasses in liquor –fetch a high price. Poachers hawk tiger pelts on the black market for around $10,000.
5. Poaching of endangered animals including tigers is now the third largest form of organised crime on the planet, after the arms and drugs trades.
Thankfully, there’s still hope. Given protection, space to roam and sufficient prey, tiger numbers can increase rapidly. They can claw their way back from the brink. But, we need your help.
Please sign WWF’s petition before the St Petersburg Tiger Summit (37 days to go and counting) www.wwf.org.uk/how_you_can_help/donate_now/save_the_tiger/
(Text from WWF UK)