It’s no secret that tigers are struggling and their numbers have dwindled in the wild. It’s always bad news when we hear it, but it seems as if some good news is now in order.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently assessed the tiger population and estimates that it has increased 40% since 2015.
The number of worldwide tigers that are living in the wild is thought to be between 3,726 to 5,578.
In a press release, the IUCN officials speak about the tiger population, saying that the global number “appears to be stable or increasing.” This has really given conservationists hope that the efforts they and others are putting forth are really doing some good.
That thought was echoed by the coordinator of the Wildlife Conservation Society Tiger Program, Dale Miquelle. In a press release, he explains that he’s taking a positive approach to the news but also thinks “this progress is fragile-we are still losing tigers from many areas, while they are increasing in others.”
40% is quite an increase but they are still in the endangered category on the IUCN Red List. That is due to some of the issues that are still threatening the tiger population, such as habitat fragmentation and poaching.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), 95% of the range the tigers once had has been taken away as a result of the activity of humans. When they lose habitat, they have to find the resources they need. They start competing for space with humans and lives are lost as a result.
Poaching is still the number one threat to wild tigers. If we are going to turn the tide and bring them out of the endangered category, this really has to change.
According to the statement by IUCN, it would be beneficial to connect protected areas and expand them. If they are managed properly and local communities work along with those tiger habitats, the species can be protected.