Captive tigers

Original source, credits text and photograph

USA – Mongabay

Big Cat Trade Driven By Demand For Traditional Asian Medicine, According To Report.

Content

Traditional Asian medicine is driving the growing international trade in big cat products and leading to the mistreatment of thousands of animals, according to a recent report.

Bones, blood, and other body parts of big cats are made into products such as balms, capsules, gels, and wines that practitioners of traditional Asian medicine believe to be able to cure ailments ranging from arthritis to meningitis, though in fact they’ve been found to have no provable health benefits. Even before the cats are killed, however, they’re treated more like products than living, breathing creatures, according to the report, released last month by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection.

Commentary

Survey of World Animal Protection shows that the big cat trade is driven by the demand for traditional Chinese medicines (TCM).

This demand from China leads to extensive poaching, tiger farming, illegal wildllife trade, extortion and even instable governments.

Tiger skin

Original source, credits text and photograph

Indonesia – Tempo

Police Nab Tiger Skin Traders In East Java.

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The Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Directorate General of Law Enforcement (Gakkum) section II and the Forestry Police for Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara arrested a suspect identified as B (31) for allegedly trading tiger skin and dozens of parts of protected animals in East Java, August 7.

“We develop an investigation case from our two operations to examine other networks related to this crime against protected animals,” said Mohammad Nur, the Gakkum head, in a statement, Monday, August 12.

Commentary

Three suspects are arrested on East Java in Indonesia with pieces of fresh tiger skin, three pieces of tiger head skin, nine pieces of tiger head skin in the form of reog (traditional mask), a piece of tiger tail skin, and a piece of tiger skin’s part.

This crime can (and must) lead to a jail sentence of 5 years in Indonesia.

Tiger teeth

Officials in Kolkata seized elephant tusks weighing about 12 kilograms and tiger teeth, worth over Rs. 1 crore, on Tuesday. Three people have been arrested.

A team of officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence arrested a woman with two pieces of elephant tusk weighing over 4 kilograms. The woman had smuggled the animal parts from Assam and was about to hand over to her husband, the mastermind of the smuggling ring.

“DRI officers busted a syndicate involved in smuggling of elephant tusks and tiger teeth. About 12 kgs of elephant tusks and five pieces of tiger teeth cumulatively valued at 1.147 crore were recovered. Three persons were arrested,” a statement from the agency said.

TCM

World Animal Protection has completed its first ever global, multiple-country examination of the supply chain feeding the insatiable demand for big cat products, such as tiger bone wine and traditional medicines.

Such products are popular in Asia despite the fact they have no proven medical benefits, and this study highlights the grave danger that animals such as lions and tigers, face as a result.

The organization’s research exposes how big cat farms are harvesting lions in South Africa and tigers in Asia to feed demand, as well as investigating attitudes towards these products from those who consume them.

Myanmar tige swimmingr

In 1903, a tigress prowling in the vicinity of Shwedagon Pagoda was shot and killed by a British soldier – an indication that there used to be plenty of tigers in Myanmar.

However, the country’s tiger population is decreasing and there are many difficulties in preserving the species.

The difficulty in preserving tigers is that there is an illegal wildlife market, shrinking habitat, and less food for tigers in the jungle,” said U Paing Soe, project manager of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The tigers are protected under the Biodiversity and Conservation of Protected Areas Law in Myanmar. Those convicted of poaching, killing, hurting, collecting and trading tigers face three to 10 years in prison.

However, there is a thriving black market for tiger products in Asia, including Myanmar, according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNOC).

Striped lion

When the Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP) was rolled out in 2010, it announced the exigency and intent in rather dramatic terms.

The programme, endorsed in the St Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation, was billed as the “last best hope for tigers”. Inaction could lead to extinction of the “world’s most magnificent species”, the programme’s executive summary had warned. Nine years into the ambitious programme, designed over the period between 2010 and 2022, the intent appears to have translated to a rise in the number of big cats in India, one of the 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) in the GTRP.

The TRCs’ shared goal of doubling the number of tigers globally by 2022 could still be viewed as unrealistic but conservationists see in these numbers a possibility to optimise ongoing efforts — in restoring a depleted prey base, reviving habitats, building new resources for site-specific strategies and more crucially, in improving protection of forests with minimal conflict.

Y V Jhala, scientist at the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, sees in the task for 2022 a “good target for politicians” to work toward and feels that the post-2010 thrust has, despite setbacks in some of the TRCs, had impressive returns. The senior scientist is working on the 2018 tiger census, a project that monitors the status of tigers, co-predators, prey and their habitat in India. The report is scheduled to be released by the end of July.

China tigers

China is using cutting-edge technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data to monitor endangered Amur tigers and leopards, experts said at the International Forum on Tiger and Leopard Transboundary Conservation in Harbin, Northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province on Sunday.

“Infrared cameras, AI and big data have helped us improve the establishment of a database of Amur tigers and leopards,” Jiang Guangshun, a deputy director of the Natural Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), said at the forum.

“For example, the infrared camera can detect the tiger, and then AI will help analyze the tiger species, the weight and height, which will be marked in the database.”

Jiang noted the number of Amur tigers and leopards is increasing under the protection of China.

Daily Star tiger

Research estimates there are fewer than 4,000 of the big cats left in the wild. A century ago there were around 80,000.

The crisis is blamed on poachers and trophy hunters. Economic development is also a major factor in their decline because it ruins their habitat.

Campaigner Martin Hughes-Games has been studying the tiger count in India, which accounts for 60% of those left.

He said: “India is a country that’s industrialising incredibly fast. There are roads and railway lines and industries everywhere you look.

Tiger cubs dead

A haul of frozen tiger carcasses found in a car in Hanoi has led to the arrest of a key wildlife trafficking suspect, Vietnamese state media said on Friday, as the country tries to tackle a well-worn smuggling route from Laos.

Nguyen Huu Hue, who is believed to have smuggled animals in from neighbouring Laos for years, was arrested on Thursday with two other people after seven dead tigers were discovered in their vehicle at a parking lot, according to Cong An Nhan Dan newspaper.

“Hue set up a company… which sells building material as a cover for the illegal trading of tigers and wildlife,” Cong An Nhan Dan, the official mouthpiece of the Ministry of Public Security, reported.
All seven tigers appeared to be cubs, according to photos of the seizure.

Malayan tiger under threat

Recently a tiger walked down the main thoroughfare of Kampung Besul (video here), a village in the north coastal state of Terengganu, sending villagers fleeing in all directions. The cat, dubbed the “friendly tiger” because it did no one any harm, later died of canine distemper disorder, which probably explains why it “went tame” and strolled through the town.

Malaysia is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth, and the rain forests of Peninsular Malaysia, along with those of southern Thailand, are the oldest on the planet. If anything, the death of the cat is emblematic of the peril to the country’s quickly-vanishing wildlife as urbanization, poachers and other problems eat into not just the tigers’ habitat but create a wide range of problems for other species as well.

The spread of canine distemper disorder into the wild cat population is very bad news on its own. A deadly virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous system, it is often spread to wild cats and dholes – wild dogs — in Asia from the feces left behind from hunting dogs and domesticated dogs which wander into wildlife habitat. According to another report, two tigers were seen prowling around the village, with a pregnant woman claiming a big cat chased her for 300 meters while she was riding her motorbike. Apparently one of the two was caught, later dying of distemper. The other escaped. It is still being sought.

Changsha customs

Customs of Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan Province, announced Tuesday that they have busted a smuggling case and seized 450 grams of products made from endangered animals.

The products were discovered in the luggage of a Chinese passenger who arrived at the Changsha Huanghua International Airport from Hong Kong in late June. The passenger previously worked in South Africa.

The products were withheld by the customs officials and later confirmed as made of pangolin scales and tiger bones. This is the first time tiger bones have been seized at the airport.

White tiger cub smuggled

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Malayan tiger population

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New Jersey tiger

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