More than 2,300 tigers killed and trafficked this century: Report
Written by Millennium on August 22, 2019
More than 2,300 tigers have been killed and illegally trafficked since the millennium, according to a new report that urges more action to protect the big cats.
With an average of more than 120 illegally trafficked tigers seized each year – more than two a week – since the year 2000, conservation group TRAFFIC warned in its report on Tuesday that there was little sign of respite for the species.
Report author Kanitha Krishnasamy, who heads TRAFFIC’s Southeast Asia operations, said the numbers were deeply concerning.
“It looks like we are losing this fight,” she told AFP news agency.
In 1900, more than 100,000 tigers were estimated to roam the planet, but that fell to a record low of 3,200 globally in 2010.READ MORE
Since then, population numbers have inched upwards, but there are still estimated to be fewer than 3,900 tigers left in the wild.
“This pernicious trafficking, evidenced by the continuously high number of whole skins, whole animals – both dead and alive – and bones is a testament to the ongoing demand for tiger parts,” Krishnasamy said.
“The time for talking is over: words must be turned into action to prevent further tiger loss,” she said in a statement.
TRAFFIC, which campaigns to protect endangered animals and help governments catch those who trade their parts, published a new analysis looking at 19 years of tiger seizure data from around the world.
It found that an estimated 2,359 tigers were seized between 2000 and 2018 across 32 countries and territories.
Tiger parts are sold as decoration as well as for the lucrative Chinese medicine market [File: Reuters]
Skins are the single most frequently seized tiger part, with on average 58 whole tiger skins seized each year, the report found, also noting a clear increase in seizures of whole animals, both dead and alive.
India, which has the world’s largest wild tiger population, remains the country with the highest overall number of seizures, consistent with findings from previous years. It accounted for 40.5 percent of total incidents and 26.5 percent of tigers seized.
Outside of the tiger’s range, a total of 56 seizures were recorded, mostly in Taiwan, China and Mexico.