The next 'Year of the Tiger' will soon be upon us.
Tigers are amongst the most spectacular of the exquisite big cats. There is no place where their mention is unheard of. From legends to myths, art to literature and from poetry to religious symbolism tigers have always found their place within the expanse of human perception. Their brawny frame, marvellous symmetry and striking black stripes elude the burning gaze, alert and vigilant at all times. Utterly magnificent as they are, they have also gathered mixed feelings amongst the many people who have crossed paths with them. Poachers and illegal wildlife traders see them as a commodity for quick money, while livestock owners resent them for their occasional depredation of domestic animals. Stories of man-eating tigers send chills down your spine and make you wish for another Jim Corbett to obliterate the beasts.
Alarmed by the declining population, leaders of 13 tiger range countries (Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Russia, Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Laos) met in St. Petersburg, Russia in November 2010 for an international tiger conservation forum held from 21-24 of the month. The threat to tigers was recognized as clear and imminent, and immediate action to save them from extinction in the wild was critical.
In the meeting, they expressed a written commitment to double the wild tiger population (Tx2) by the next lunar year of the Tiger, 2022. The leaders endorsed the Global Tiger Recovery Program, an action plan to strengthen reserves, a crackdown on poachers and provide financial incentives to maintain a thriving tiger population. See link below to read more on this challenge to double wild tiger numbers.