Factsheet: Tigers

Posted on 23 May 2007  | 
The largest cat of all, the tiger is a powerful symbol among the different cultures that share its home. But this magnificent animal is being persecuted across its range. Tigers are poisoned, shot, trapped, and snared, largely as a result of conflicts with people and to meet the demands of a continuing illegal trade in tiger derivatives and parts. On top of this, both their habitat and natural prey continue to disappear. Over the past 100 years, tiger numbers have declined by 95 per cent and three sub-species have become extinct - with a fourth not seen in the wild for over 25 years.

Tigers are ‘flagship’ species for their habitats - that is, charismatic representatives of the biodiversity within the complex ecosystems they inhabit. Because these animals need a lot of space to survive, their conservation will help maintain biological diversity over extensive areas and so help many other species.

WWF has been working to conserve tigers for over four decades. In 2002, WWF developed a new and far-reaching strategy in partnership with other conservationists and authorities. The cornerstone of this Tiger Conservation Programme is a landscape-based approach to conservation supported by a strong programme to address illegal trade wherever it occurs.
A tiger close up to the camera, sniffing it, caught by the flash, image is slightly blurred.
Tiger caught in a camera trap, eastern Cambodia. Srepok Wildnerness Area (SWA) - Januray 2006. Only the 2nd ever tiger caught on film by a camera trap in this area.
© WWF Cambodia /SWA Project Staff Enlarge

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