Yet in Southeast Asia, tigers remain in crisis. In the past 20 years, tigers are believed to have become extinct in Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Lao PDR. The population in Thailand appears to be stable, even increasing, but elsewhere numbers continue to fall. Across the region, significant threats remain. A growing human populace is squeezing large predators into smaller pockets. Meanwhile, a snaring crisis is stripping forests of wildlife, including tigers and their prey. And although the big cats are a protected species, there is a thriving illegal trade in their parts.
In short, there’s a lot more work left to do. WWF is addressing the challenges at every level—from supporting government initiatives to secure protected habitats and stop wildlife crimes to bolstering community-led efforts to help Indigenous peoples live with and protect the iconic cats in their midst.
Tiger counts are now underway in several range countries, and the next population estimate will be released at the second Global Tiger Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, in September of this year. It’s not expected that the global population will have hit that TX2 goal—yet. But there is real momentum, and doubling the population is within reach, says Hemley. “It’s not a question of whether we can get there, but when.”
Moreover, Chapman says, “if we can get living with tigers right, we have a formula not just for tiger conservation, but for conservation as a whole.”
On the following pages, discover a few of the strategies that WWF is employing to recover and protect tigers around the world.