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ANNUAL REPORT: Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP) 2016

The Satpuda Landscape Tiger Partnership (SLTP), one of India's biggest tiger conservation programmes, recently published its latest annual report.

The Satpuda Highlands in Central India is one of the most viable tiger landscapes globally, and Save Wild Tigers is a proud partner and part funder of the programme. With less than 4,000 tigers remaining in the wild, it is CRITICAL that we continue to support conservation in Satpuda.

Save Wild Tigers has supported SLTP which has been working on the following initiatives in 2016:

  • Preserving corridors of land that link areas of tiger habitat
  • Using solar energy technology to help with tiger conservation in remote areas
  • Educating local communities and ensuring they have access to health services and the tools to live sustainably
  • Employment and training programmes
  • Mitigating human-tiger conflict 
  • Landscape monitoring and lobbying

Read the full report here.

 



WATCH CATS – SAVE WILD TIGERS

In celebration of World Tiger Day, Friday 29 July 2016, we are THRILLED to announce the launch of our new online initiative – "THE KITTY" – a YouTube channel dedicated to cat videos.

It’s never been easier to help raise funds for Tigers – Every time you watch a cat video via "The Kitty", a little bit of money goes towards tiger conservation. (You know you were going to watch them anyway)

 

Just follow 3 simple steps:

1.       WATCH CAT VIDEOS - hundreds of clips are already available on The Kitty YouTube Channel

2.       UPLOAD CAT VIDEOS - Got some funny/cute/crazy videos of your feline friends? Upload them to http://kitty.savewildtigers.org today so they can start earning money for wild tigers.

3.       SHARE CAT VIDEOS - Share any video from The Kitty YouTube Channel via your social networks – the more views they get, the more money we raise! 

 

Collectively, the world watches cat videos hundreds of millions of times each month on YouTube. Save Wild Tigers is harnessing the internet's obsession with cats, leveraging the platform provided by YouTube to raise money for tiger conservation through ad views. 

"Cat videos are the online phenomenon of our time, with over 35 billion views to date and counting," says Simon Clinton, founder of Save Wild Tigers. "We’re obsessed with them. When you put this number beside the number of tigers left in the wild, a mere 3,200, we thought it was an alarming reflection on where our priorities lie."

Enlisting pet cats to help big cats is also a way to involve a younger generation that tends to donate less to charity in traditional ways. "Today, [people] would rather support brands that do good rather than donate their hard-earned dollars toward a cause," says Clinton. "Small change donations have become near obsolete, so charities need to adapt."

"We’re giving content makers—which is pretty much everyone with a smartphone—their own platform to collectively do something that will benefit the planet," Clinton says. "If we can harness or own the long tail of cat videos on YouTube, we can generate significant and ongoing funds for wild tiger preservation."

If all of the cat video views on YouTube so far had raised money for conservation, we could have raised more than £265 million!

That's enough money, in theory, to save tigers from extinction in the wild!

The funds raised by ad views will support SWT campaigns that help reduce demand for tiger products in countries such as China and Vietnam, undercover investigations into the wildlife trade, and lobbying for better regulations.



137 Tigers removed from corrupt Tiger Temple in Thailand

The Tiger Temple, a popular tourist attraction in Kanchanaburi province, west of Bangkok, has been exposed as a tourist trap and front for illegal wildlife trade. 

Following mounting allegations of animal abuse and illicit wildlife trafficking from conservation and animal rights organisations, Thai police and wildlife officials raided the Buddhist Tiger Temple under a court order on Monday 30th May 2016. 

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation undertook an operation to remove all 137 living tigers to state-owned sanctuaries, Pa Khao Son and Khao Prathap Chang in Ratchaburi. Local veterinarians and wildlife conservation organisations assisted in the relocation. 

Suspicions were confirmed when, on Thursday 2nd June, three Buddhist monks were charged after they were caught trying to smuggle tiger skins and charms made from tiger parts away from the temple. 

The gruesome discovery of 40 dead tiger cubs, kept frozen in jars, further compounded speculation that illicit tiger products such as tiger bone wine were being made at the Tiger Temple. 

The Tiger Temple, which for many years claimed to be a sanctuary for the critically endangered species, tacitly endorsed by the tourism industry, has finally been shut down. While this is a victory for conservationists, it raises serious questions about other so-called tiger sanctuaries and farms that have not been subject to the same scrutiny by the authorities.



SWT Founder Simon Clinton talks Tigers with BBC World News

Save Wild Tigers founder Simon Clinton talked to BBC World News on 15 April 2016 about the pros and cons of translocating wild tigers to former tiger range countries. Will plans to introduce Bengal tigers from India into Cambodia and Amur tigers from the Russian far east into Kazakhstan be successful?  Simon discusses tiger conservation priorities and contemplates the best use of precious resources.

CLICK HERE to watch the full interview. 

The BBC story followed the conclusion of the 3rd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tigers in New Delhi (12-14 April 2016), where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that "conservation of the tiger is not a choice, it is an imperative."

Following the conference, Save Wild Tigers, along with 22 other non-governmental organisations, signed a post-meeting statement urging top level action from governments, to:

  • Prohibit legal domestic trade in tiger parts and derivatives from captive facilities among all consumer countries;
  • end tiger breeding for commercial purposes and phase out tiger farms;
  • destroy stockpiles of tiger parts and derivatives;
  • strengthen enforcement efforts and international cooperation to effectively combat tiger poaching and trade; and
  • secure tiger habitat and prevent habitat fragmentation.

Read the full post-conference statement here.

 



INCREASE IN GLOBAL WILD TIGER NUMBERS

For the first time in recent history, the estimated number of tigers in the wild has increased, giving hope to conservationists across the globe. The global wild tiger population has been steadily declining from 150,000 in 1900 due to poaching, habitat loss and development across tiger-range countries. In 2010, the global wild tiger estimate was reported at an all-time low of 3,200. There are now an estimated 3,890 wild tigers across 12 countries from Russia to Indonesia.

This positive news comes as the 3rd Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation convenes in New Delhi today. The increase may be largely attributed to committed efforts since the Global Tiger Summit in 2010 by governments in India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Overall, however, the status of wild Tigers is still CRITCAL. Whilst wild tiger populations in India are on the rise, numbers are dwindling to below 10 in China, Vietnam, and Lao PDR, and the situation in Malaysian and Indonesia is acute. Just last week Cambodia declared that its tiger population is now functionally extinct.  

The new estimate must be accepted with caution as many of the numbers are statistical means or estimates based on the best available knowledge. Actual populations, both today and in 2010, may be higher or lower and some of the increase may be attributed to improved survey methods.

Nevertheless, the upward trend is an inspiring step toward the 2022 goal of increasing global wild tiger numbers to more than 6,000. Currently the biggest threat to wild tigers is poaching to fuel demand for tiger products, parts, and derivatives. If the governments of tiger range countries will adopt a commitment to zero poaching in New Delhi this week, as called for by Save Wild Tigers along with 22 other NGOs, wild tiger populations will have a real chance of fighting back.