John Varty newsletter – Where are the Champions?


By John Varty 

Ussuri and cub at Tiger Canyons. Photo: Tiger Conservation

Ussuri and cub at Tiger Canyons. Photo: Tiger Conservation

Over the last 12 years of trying to save the wild tiger, I often wonder whether I am not losing the battle. Is it not an exercise in futility? 

Consider the following:

1) The worlds human population has moved through 7 billion.

2) China and India, two tiger countries, have a combined population of 3.1 billion people.

3) In India, tigers compete with 320 people per square kilometer.

4) The wild tiger has declined to about 1000. A wild tiger a day is destroyed.

5) Recently the tiger has gone extinct in the several game parks in India

6) 60,000 tigers languish in cages and zoos, circuses and private collections around the world. (China has 2 safari parks with over 1000 tigers in captivity)

7) In the last 5 years, massive trades in tiger body parts have been uncovered in India, China and non tiger countries like South Africa.

8) A poacher or disgruntled government official can get $15 000 for the body parts of a dead tiger.

9) Asian governments remain hopelessly apathetic to saving the wild tiger and it remains a very low priority. 

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