Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) May 29, 2012
According to the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), tiger experts from all 13 tiger range countries, and from around the world, met in Delhi in mid-May to determine the success of efforts to double the population of tigers in the wild.
Nearly a year and a half since an international “Tiger Summit” in St. Petersburg, Russia, jump-started global efforts to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, officials and conservation experts met in Delhi to measure progress on wild tiger recovery efforts.
Their goal was also to map the next phase of implementation of the global strategy to save tigers from becoming ‘extinct’ in the wild. It is a strategy that will not be without significant obstacles.
“Unplanned and poorly coordinated development is tying a noose around tiger habitats, compromising the integrity and quality of wilderness,” says Keshav Varma, Program Director of the Global Tiger Initiative. “We support the creation of master plans by the tiger range country governments that lay out clear wildlife-friendly rules for investment and development across tiger habitats.”
The pace of international efforts has increased since the Tiger Summit, but the GTRP is a 12-year program, and scientific monitoring is only now beginning in some of the tiger conservation landscapes.
“It is clear that the political will generated in St. Petersburg is changing the dynamics of biodiversity conservation,” said Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group. “Tiger range countries and partners are making real progress in bringing wild tigers back from the brink of extinction. This conference provides an opportunity to assess the headway we have made as well as the setbacks, and prioritize actions for the next three years,”
And in fact, India reported a 20% increase in wild tigers in the 2010 tiger census, but the encouraging news but does not come without concerns. Government officials have expressed concern about accelerated degradation and fragmentation of habitat where the big cats remain.
Assessing the successes and concerns, and how to move ahead, is at the heart of this gathering according to some attendees.
''This gathering of tiger range states shows that the momentum to save tigers is indeed building, but the pressure on the species continues,” said Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and CEO, WWF- India. “Poaching remains the number one threat to tigers and the greatest obstacle to achieving the goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022. Coordinated anti-poaching measures across tiger range states are called for.
Singh says effort to stop poaching need to be ‘scaled up’ in an effort to achieve “zero poaching.”
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