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Tiger News

Left Images © Roger Hooper


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 5,000 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. 

Malayan tiger (c) Mike Vickers


The Malayan Tiger has been placed under the "critically endangered" category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The IUCN said that the number of mature Malayan tigers is "likely less than 250," which represents a decline by 25% in one generation (seven years).

In 2014, Save Wild Tigers ran INSPIRE, the largest Tiger event in Malaysian history, sponsored by YTL, to raise funds for Malayan tiger conservation. At this event last year we raised the issue that only 250 tigers were left in the wild. The news is now official.

Our suspicions have been confirmed however it’s dreadful that we have got to this situation. We urge the Malaysian government to act quickly, or it will be too late !

Save Wild Tigers founder, Simon Clinton, says, “It’s time for the Malaysian people to speak up and demand ACTION.”

Read more at:


The poaching of tigers is unfortunately not a new or recent phenomenon, wild tigers have been targeted and hunted for prestige and trophies dating back as far as the 16th century.

Historically, tigers have been hunted on foot, elephant and horseback. In India, Mughal emperors had a passion for big game hunting, and royal hunting, or shikar, was carried out until the dynasty fell in 1857. Paintings also depict the Mongol, Turk, & Afghan nobility hunting tigers but the British Raj were perhaps the worst offenders with large numbers of colonial aristocrats using sophisticated firearms which, coupled with habitat loss, significantly reduced India’s tiger population. For example, King George V boasted killing 39 tigers in 10 days in Nepal after ascending the throne in 1911 and it’s estimated over 80,000 wild tigers were slaughtered in the 50 years between 1875 and 1925 alone.

So we have moved from around 150,000 wild tigers globally in 1900 to as few as 3,200 in the wild today. Now, poaching led by demand from China is today’s biggest driver of their current demise. However, unlike 200 years ago, this time there is no going back. Numbers are now at a critical level. So, after two million years with tigers roaming this planet, we are at the 11th hour. Critical countries like China have the chance to change the tiger’s current trajectory. Will they step up to the challenge? Let’s help everyone make the right decision.


SHUT IT DOWN - A note from Save Wild Tigers founder, Simon Clinton.

People often ask me what I believe the biggest threat to the world's remaining tigers is - my response - demand. Demand for tiger skin, bone and other body parts, fuels and finances organised poaching and trafficking, which has had a rapid effect on tiger sub-populations and has resulted in localised extinctions. This continued demand is putting the species under huge pressure and driving them closer and closer to extinction. Skins are seen as status symbols, used for home décor, whilst bones are used in tonics and medicines. Both are traded by illegal criminal syndicates for huge profits.

Debbie Banks, head of the EIA's tiger campaign that Save Wild Tigers supports, has the following message:
I have a simple message for the government delegates preparing for the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in Botswana scheduled for the end of March – please don’t forget about the tigers! With perhaps as few as 3,200 wild tigers remaining, every single tiger counts. Based on known incidents of poaching, trafficking and illegal sales, at least 1,500 tigers have ended up in trade since 2000. In numbers, that might not grab the same headlines as the tragedy unfolding for Africa’s elephants and rhinos but it is no less a crisis considering just how few wild tigers remain.
Poaching is driven by demand for tiger parts, primarily among the Chinese business, political and military elite. Tiger skin rugs are purchased for luxury home décor or bribes, tiger bone wine is considered a prestigious gift and meat served as a delicacy. Vietnamese consumers prefer their tiger bone in the form of a glue, pieces of which are mixed with wine to treat arthritis.
In the closing remarks of the Towards Zero Poaching symposium in Kathmandu last week, the Secretary General of the Global Tiger Forum, Dr Rajesh Gopal, called for zero demand to support zero poaching. Quite simply, wild tigers need every government to work towards ending all trade (international and domestic) in all tiger parts (skins, bones, meat, teeth, claws) from all sources (wild and captive-bred). That is the commitment we hope government delegates to the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference will make at the end of March.

Image (C) Nick Garbutt

Help us take action this week to end Illegal Wildlife Crime

In just three days time (13th Feb) the UK government will be hosting an international conference on illegal wildlife trade. 

The London conference, which will focus on tigers, elephants and rhinos, aims to tackle three interlinked aspects of illegal wildlife trade:

1. strengthening law enforcement and the criminal justice system

2. reducing demand for illegal wildlife products

3. supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by illegal wildlife trade

Whilst all three aspects are vital to reducing wildlife crime, here at Save Wild Tigers we want to focus on one of these aspects this week in the countdown to the London conference and we ask you to join us.

We ask you to write to the Chinese ambassador in your country and ask them how we can work together in the spirit of cooperation to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products.

With fewer than 3,500 tigers left in the wild, poaching is the number one threat to the species survival and has been one of the main causes of the tigers tragic decline. Reducing the demand for tiger parts and products is therefore vital for the longterm survival of the species. It is crucial that we work together with countries such as China in order to do this effectively.

Read more about the conference here: