Tigers at a Crossroads in the Greater Mekong due to roads, dams, tiger farms and poaching, WWF Says
Released at the halfway point of an ambitious global effort to double the number of wild tigers between 2010 and 2022, The Road Ahead: Protecting Tigers from Asia’s Infrastructure Development Boom, highlights the unprecedented threat posed by a vast network of planned infrastructure across the continent.
“Tigers are an important part of the cultural and natural heritage of each country in the Greater Mekong region, but unless drastic action is taken to secure them, their future here is uncertain at best due to multiple threats,” said WWF Greater Mekong Conservation Director Teak Seng. “As we hit the halfway point in our global effort to double tiger numbers, the urgency is increasing to act decisively or risk extinction of this majestic species from the region.”
Tigers are functionally extinct from Cambodia and Vietnam, and have largely disappeared from Laos. In Myanmar numbers are unknown but appear to be declining. Thailand is the best hope for tigers in the region, but numbers are low, with fewer than 200 remaining, and part of their habitat would be destroyed if a proposed dam is built within Mae Wong National Park.
There are signs of hope. In 2010, the global tiger population estimated 3,200 individuals in the wild. But over the past six years, tigers have shown signs of recovery in India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan due to better management of protected areas, transboundary collaboration initiatives, endorsement of the Zero Poaching approach, greatly improved monitoring capacity and enhanced efforts to tackle tiger trafficking. There are now an estimated 3,890 tigers in the wild.
For more information, please full press release in the download on the right hand side.