The number of tigers roaming the wild has gone up for the first time in a century and the global tiger conservation community as well as Hollywood superstar Leonardo DiCaprio is euphoric about the turnaround in the population of the majestic animal.
According to latest figures released by the World Wild Life (WWF) and Global Tiger Forum (GTF), there are currently 3,890 tigers in forests from Russia to Vietnam as compared to the reported 3,200 in 2010. Conservationists are looking at it as a major achievement in protecting the species from extinction.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s philanthropic organisation works closely with WWF and GTF towards conservation of tigers across the world. The Hollywood heavyweight had even travelled to Nepal in 2010 to participate in conservation works as well as raise awareness. So, when the announcement about the increased tiger population was made yesterday, the Titanic cast was quick to release his comments on the revised numbers.
“In Nepal, our efforts have produced one of the greatest areas of progress in tiger conservation, which is helping drive this global increase in population,” Mr DiCaprio said in a statement, continuing, “I am so proud that our collective efforts have begun to make progress toward our goal, but there is still so much to be done.”
In 2010, the actor had travelled to Nepal’s Bardiya National Park where he installed ‘camera trap’ to capture images of tiger in their natural habitat.
“For the first time after decades of constant decline, tiger numbers are on the rise. This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habitats when governments, local communities and conservationists work together,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International.
Not all countries have had good track-record though.
While Russia, India, Nepal and Bhutan have fared progressively in their latest national-level report on tiger population, Southeast Asian nations are lagging far behind, WWF indicated.
“A strong action plan for the next six years is vital,” said Michael Baltzer, Leader of WWF Tx2 Tiger Initiative in the statement. “The global decline has been halted but there is still no safe place for tigers. Southeast Asia, in particular, is at imminent risk of losing its tigers if these governments do not take action immediately.”
Bangladesh – 106
Bhutan – 103
Cambodia – 0
China – more than 7
India – 2,226
Russia – 433
Indonesia – 371
Malaysia – 250
Myanmar – no data available
Nepal – 198
Thailand – 189
Laos – 2
Vietnam – fewer than 5