Top 10 Tiger Facts
1. Poaching of tigers and their prey is driving decreases in tiger populations throughout their range, along with poaching of their prey and degradation of their habitat.
2. Inadequate law enforcement and residual demand for tiger products pose the greatest near-term threats to the survival of wild tigers.
3. Even talk of reopening trade in farmed (or captive-bred) tiger products has helped sustain residual demand, prompted investors to stockpile tiger skins and bones, and caused police in some Asian countries to take tiger trafficking less seriously.
4. Tiger farms (and other Intensive tiger breeding operations) must be phased out immediately while, at the same time, intelligence-led wildlife law enforcement and demand-reduction campaigns are intensified.
5. Demand reduction campaigns do work, but they have not yet been given adequate support to do so.
6. Intelligence-led law enforcement does work, but it has not been given adequate support to do so.
7. Governments should provide urgently needed support to increase capacity of national, regional and international law enforcement and intelligence exchange mechanisms, especially the coordinating capacities of INTERPOL, the CITES Secretariat and the World Customs Organization.
8. To increase the likelihood to stopping tiger trade from all sources, national, regional and international wildlife law enforcement agencies should compile and share with one another all information on tiger crime.
9. The number of tigers on China’s tiger farms alone has surpassed 6,000, while similar intensive tiger breeding operations are starting up in Southeast Asia. Investors in these farms depend on demand for tiger parts and products to increase. In fact, if wild tigers go extinct, these investors will enjoy a monopoly for supplying tiger-bone wine and tiger skins to China and, perhaps, the world.
10. Registration systems for intensive tiger breeding operations, including those using DNA, will not reduce demand for tiger products. Tiger farms and other intensive tiger breeding operations must be phased out to reduce this grave threat to wild tigers. The mere existence of these facilities sustains consumer demand.
11. China banned domestic tiger trade in 1993 because it was undermining the CITES ban on international tiger trade. The potential for domestic tiger trade in China to undermine CITES is now exponentially greater due to growth of human populations and per capita buying power.
12. The 2010 Chinese Year of the Tiger is offering unprecedented opportunities for policymakers in Asia and around the world to take action to bring back wild tigers. If they do not take immediate and bold new action, there may be no wild tigers left when the Year of the Tiger comes around again in 12 years.
13. Concern for saving “face” among tiger range and consuming counties should not supersede discussing “sensitive” issues that must be addressed if the world is to avoid losing wild tigers.
14. Wild tigers are emblematic of all of nature’s abundance (species and ecosystems) now endangered by degradation and overexploitation. People say, ‘when tigers disappear, forest fall,’ which robs people of livelihoods, food, water and health security.