The tiger. King of the Kittehs. Majestic. Beautiful.
Before reading this BBC article about the efforts to restore the tiger population I was under the impression that the spotlight on conservation of endangered species over the past twenty years must have increased, or at least stabilized the tiger population. It seems I was being quite naive.
Governments of the 13 countries where tigers still live aim to agree moves that could double numbers of the endangered big cats within 12 years.
The International Tiger Conservation Forum in St Petersburg will discuss proposals on protecting habitat, tackling poaching, and finance.
About 3,000 tigers live in the wild – a 40% decline in a decade.
There are warnings that without major advances, some populations will disappear within the next 20 years.
Five prime ministers are due to attend the summit, including China’s WenJiabao and Vladimir Putin of the Russian hosts.
“Here’s a species that’s literally on the brink of extinction,” said Jim Leape, director general of conservation group WWF.
“This is the first time that world leaders have come together to focus on saving a single species, and this is a unique opportunity to mobilise the political will that’s required in saving the tiger.”
I sincerely hope that the policy developed at this conference will have the desired effect of increasing the tiger population over the next decade. While the tiger is far from being the only species in this predicament, I hope that any attention paid to animal conservation due to the plight of such a popular animal contributes to the success of these efforts.