Tiger King, Netflix’s new docu-series, is roaring with popularity, but behind the drama, there is a frightful truth: captive tigers in the United States are a significant conservation issue and could impact tigers in the wild.
Established in 2010 and dubbed Tx2, it is arguably the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to recover an endangered species. Today, the overall tiger population decline has begun to reverse, with better data and improved surveys indicating there are likely now close to 4,000 tigers roaming free across the range states.Here are the Tx2’s top nine achievements to date.
In an enormous setback for wildlife conservation, China announced it will allow hospitals to use tiger bone and rhino horn from captive-bred animals for traditional medicine. The decision reverses a decades-old ban that has been instrumental in preventing the extinction of endangered tigers and rhinos.
Rare footage of a tiger family offers exciting proof of tigers breeding successfully in the wild. The video shows a female tigress - named Rima - and her 3 cubs growing up in Central Sumatra. Rima then meets Uma, a male Sumatra tiger, and breeds successfully to have four more tiger cubs. Yet, tigers are endangered, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. Today, there are only around 3,900 wild tigers worldwide. That’s more than a 95% decline from perhaps 100,000 just over a century ago.
On top of a ridge of in Indonesia, a healthy male Sumatran tiger was spotted by camera traps earlier this year. An important conservation tool, the cameras are equipped with infrared sensors that take a picture whenever they sense movement in the forest and help support WWF’s intensive tiger monitoring in central Sumatra.
In less than a decade, Bhutan’s Royal Manas National Park has achieved a big win for tiger conservation. From only 10 tigers in 2010, its population has now grown to 22. With a global population of as few as 3,890 wild tigers, every population increase matters. And it marks a significant step towards achieving the goal of doubling the world’s wild tigers.
From the world’s largest mangrove forests in the Sundarbans to temperate forests in the snowy mountains of Bhutan, protecting tigers and their natural homes helps provide benefits for thousands of other animals and millions of people.
On September 8th, 2017, the Republic of Kazakhstan announced their plans to bring wild tigers back to their historical range in the Ili-Balkhash region, and signed a memorandum with WWF to implement a joint tiger reintroduction plan. These iconic cats will finally return to Kazakhstan, 70 years after going extinct there.
Filmmaker and photojournalist Emmanuel Rondeau spent four weeks in the wildlife corridors of Bhutan with a camera trap poised to capture the elusive tiger. After weeks of waiting, a tiger appeared on the final day of the expedition. The result? The first high-resolution camera trap image of a wild tiger in Bhutan captured above 11,000 feet.
Singye Wangmo exudes a natural passion for wildlife. One of the few female forestry officers working on the ground in Bhutan, she spends her days protecting the tigers of Royal Manas National Park from poachers.
WWF and Tiger Beer US are engaging in a campaign to fundraise to support rangers around the world, including those in tiger range countries to reduce the threat of poaching to this species. Tiger Beer will match up to $25,000 of consumer donations from July 1 through August 31, 2017 to support WWF's Back a Ranger Program.