Did you know that 95 percent of the world’s tigers have been wiped out over the past century and that there are now more captive tigers left in countries such as China and the United States than animals left in the wild? Across Asia the remaining populations of wild tigers are so small and scattered that the species is on its last legs.
Because humans encroach on and degrade their habitats and hunt them to supply their body parts to meet the booming demand in Asia. Tiger bones are ground up for traditional medicines, the fangs and claws turned into amulets, their skins used as trophies and rugs, and their meat eaten as exotic dishes. Renowned for their mythical power and physical strength, tigers and their body parts are status symbols that command high prices on the black market.
New Tiger Surveys Breed Optimism
Few species are as iconic in world history or as revered as tigers. Their precipitous decline has caused grave concern around the globe. But there is still hope. Recent population monitoring surveys in Thailand have revealed that wild tigers have been successfully breeding for the first time in 15 years. Photos of tiger cubs suggest that some populations may be on the rise, and the evidence is coming from a protected area that has seen improved counter-poaching efforts and community engagement through a partnership between Freeland and Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP), under the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-sponsored Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) program. Through this partnership, the DNP and USAID partner Freeland have conducted extensive training programs for rangers and protected area managers to safeguard this important tiger habitat, monitor the population, and defend it from poachers. The images have inspired hope that, with effective protection and monitoring, this population of perhaps less than 150 animals can recover, and the model can be replicated in other tiger landscapes. Come to the ARREST program close out on September 15 to learn more about our training courses for frontline enforcement officers that empower them to protect vital areas, and safeguard endangered species from poachers.
USAID’s Largest Counter Wildlife Trafficking Program Highlights Achievements this September in Bangkok
The main accomplishments of the ARREST Program, together with lessons learned and the many tools and legacies of the program, will be presented at a press conference held in Bangkok on this Thursday, September 15 at 11 a.m. Key ARREST partners from across Asia, including representatives from government agencies, NGOs, and members of the local and international media will attend. USAID encourages everyone to join the event at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand, located on the top floor of the Maneeya Center Building, next to the Chitlom BTS station. For more information, please contact Freeland’s Director of Communications Matthew Pritchett: firstname.lastname@example.org If you are unable attend the conference, please contact Matthew for background information, support in arranging interviews, photos and highlights of the event and successes of the ARREST Program. You can also find this information at www.freeland.org/ARREST form September 15 onwards.