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Global tiger population gains for the Year of the Tiger

Washington DC – The global tiger population is finally increasing after more than a century of gradual decline, a new study from WWF reveals.

Since the last Tiger Summit of 2010, several restoration efforts have contributed to the animal’s recovery. A new study shows the planet has between just 3700 and 5200 tigers left.

However, the WWF warns that they still face serious threats, with tigers likely extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Reported concurrent with the Lunar New Year and Year of the Tiger on February 1, 2022, a study from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that tiger populations are finally showing an increase after more than a century of steady decline.

The study says since 2010, or the last Year of the Tiger, tiger populations have increased, in part due to several restoration efforts.

During that time, the first Tiger Summit gathered experts to determine ways to conserve tiger populations across 13 countries. The first record of recovering tiger populations happened in 2016, the first uptick in over a century.

The 2010 Tiger Summit launched an unprecedented set of tiger conservation initiatives. The results show what can be achieved through long-term partnerships for species recovery. The dedication of field teams, conservation partners and communities living in tiger territories has led to the extraordinary results.

In the new report, the WWF outlines tiger conservation successes, including numbers that have tripled in Land of the Leopard, a national park in Russia and a new, designated tiger protected area, the world’s largest, in China.

To improve tiger population numbers, the WWF and its partners have implemented several tactics by restoring tiger habitats, combating the illegal wildlife trade and poaching, expanding the tigers’ range and allowing them to safely cross borders between nations.

They are carefully relocating tigers to reserves to improve breeding, and training volunteers on handling human-tiger conflicts, among several other methods.

India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and China have demonstrated what it takes to increase wild tiger numbers and conserve their habitat.

Hopefully, the success of these countries will inspire others, particularly in Southeast Asia, to step up efforts to protect wild tigers and secure the species’ future beyond 2022.

While the Impact on Tiger Recovery report and the survey of wildlife is encouraging for tiger conservation, the WWF warns the animals are still facing serious threats.

Tigers are likely extinct in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and populations faced decline in Malaysia over the past 12 years. Their range is still declining, and the WWF estimates their current range to be about five percent of their historic range, according to the World Economic Forum.