Photo credit: law_keven/Creative Commons
Last year was declared the "Year of the Tiger," and though the global population still hovers below 3,500 individuals in the wild—making it one of the most critically endangered animals on the planet—some advances were made to protecting the much-loved species. At the end of the year, 13 nations with natural tiger habitat pledged to work together to double populations by 2022.
So far, however, this year has been characterized by setbacks. In Nepal, the first translocated tiger was found dead. Earlier this month, one of the 400 tigers surviving on the Indonesian island of Sumutra was caught in a snare and eventually died of its injuries.
Still, there are several small victories to celebrate today, on Global Tiger Day.
Photo credit: Esparta/Creative Commons
Most significant is an announcement from conservation officials in India, unveiling the results of a nation-wide tiger survey conducted in 2010. The survey revealed that the population in India had increased nearly 20 percent, to 1,706 individuals, since the last survey conducted in 2006.
This good news will hopefully set the tone for Tiger Summit +1, an international follow up to take place in early 2012 during which pledge nations will share early findings and results from their conservation plans.
"As Global Tiger Day festivities get underway," Mike Baltzer, Head of WWF's Tigers Alive Initiative commented, "we call on the governments and their leaders to honor their commitments from the Summit and take strong action to clamp down on poachers."
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