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.

Culture tiger

Original source, credits text and photograph

Indonesia – Antara News

Sumatran Tiger Preservation To Entail Adoption Of Cultural Approach.

Content

The comprehensive adoption of a cultural approach is deemed necessary to preserve some 600 Sumatran tigers (Phanteratigris sumatrae) surviving in the wilderness.

In the olden days, the Sumatran people, such as those in Kerinci, Jambi Province, lived on stilt houses in harmony with faunal species, including tigers, Hizbullah Arief, communication and reporting staff of the Tiger Project of the UNDP Sumatra Tiger Management Unit, noted in Batam on the sidelines of a discussion on Sumatran tiger preservation efforts on Tuesday evening.

The people had applied local wisdom and led a life in harmony with the environment, he pointed out.

Commentary

Article telling about the cultural approach to save tigers in Indonesian Island Sumatra.

The initiators hope that with a changing culture less people get into the forests to use snares.

Tiger census

Amid the regular distressing news of tiger deaths due to vehicular accidents and retaliatory killings, the findings of the “Status of Tigers in India-2018” report are heartening. In 2010, the Chinese Year of the Tiger, at the Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg, India and the other 12 tiger range countries committed to doubling wild tiger numbers by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger. In 2010, the estimated wild tiger population in India was 1706; the latest corresponding figure is 2967, within sight of the target, and well in time. Collectively, the nation needs to celebrate. Since the last estimate of 2266 tigers in 2014, the report shows an impressive 31 per cent increase.

Although the report has its share of unanswered questions as well as grey areas of interpretation, we do not find any obvious discrepancies. Particularly impressive is the scientific rigour and the use of modern techniques of estimation. The methodology is as robust as it can be, using a combination of camera trap images, pug marks, tiger scats as well as habitat mapping. With a survey that covered 3,81,400 km of forested habitats in 20 tiger range states of India involving a foot survey of 5,22,996 km and camera traps deployed at 26,838 locations, one cannot question the robustness of the exercise. Most importantly, a total of 2,461 individual tigers were photo-captured. Thereafter, combining the estimated forest areas, grading them based on prey density and local ecology, the overall tiger population was anywhere between 2,603 to 3,346 with a standard error of approximately 12 per cent.

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.

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.

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.

Baraboo tiger

Circus World tiger trainer Ryan Holder plans to introduce two new members of his family this weekend at his second annual after-hours fundraiser to help protect wild tigers.

Born in a United States zoo, two 8-month-old female tigers have joined the eight other cats in Holder’s ShowMe Tigers “family.”

They will make their public debut during “An Evening with Tigers” Saturday at Baraboo’s circus museum in celebration of Global Tiger Day. Tickets to the event are $50 apiece, with all of the proceeds donated to the International Elephant Foundation for its patrolling activities in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia, Holder said.

Tigress beaten to death

A disturbing two-minute video from Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit district shows an adult tigress being beaten relentlessly with sticks by people this week, triggering widespread outrage.

The incident took place under a protected zone of the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, about 240 km from state capital Lucknow. The mobile video, shot by a resident of the Mataina village on Wednesday afternoon, captures the assault by the villagers and even has a background commentary by a witness who says they are assaulting the tigress because she had attacked and injured a villager in the morning.

The tigress was about six years old and she died of broken ribs and injuries to her body. The tigress was cremated after a post mortem. Local forest officials have registered an FIR against 31 identified villagers for the incident and four people have been arrested.

Tiger family cartoons

With the Malayan Tiger population in the wild already at an all-time low, news of the death of a tiger caught in Kampung Besul Lama, Dungun, Terengganu, recently, has set alarm bells ringing.

Siblings Delwin Cheah Wien Loong, 16, and Delwina Cheah Kah Yan, 14, despite their tender age, have taken a step towards raising awareness about the need to protect Malayan Tigers by starting a campaign on the issue.

The campaign, named HUKU, is derived from two Chinese words — Lao (Hu) and Tong (Ku), which means “the tigers are suffering”.

Their friend, Max Yeoh Pang Kuan, 26, is also helping in the campaign.

Indigenous people

India’s Supreme Court is set to decide the fate of almost two million forest-dwelling families facing what activists say would be the world’s largest mass eviction in the name of conservation.

At a hearing on Wednesday, the apex court must decide whether to uphold its eviction notice towards all households living in protected forest areas whose claims to the territory under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) have been denied.

Those affected include many members of India’s “adivasi” or indigenous community, rights groups say, whose claims to their ancestral land have been rejected due to a lack of paperwork or flaws in the application system.

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.

Indian protests

On the morning of 18 July, Rafiqul Islam, a resident of Bagori, on the western fringes of Kaziranga National Park, was surprised to find a tiger sitting on his bed. Islam, who is used to wild animals around his shack didn’t panic and his presence of mind avoided a fatal encounter. An ‘SOS’ call from him got the Assam Forest Department and the animal rescue team from International Fund for Animal Welfare – Wildlife Trust Of India (IFAW-WTI) to sanitise the area and provide a safe passage to the tiger, which moved out on its own later in the day.

The photograph of a Bengal Tiger resting on a floral-print bed sheet, it’s head next to a carry bag with the words ‘Billion Choice’ is the defining image of this year’s floods in Kaziranga – of what happens to wild animals on the move in times of trouble. Clicked by Samshuli Ali, veterinarian at the IFAW-WTI, the picture has gone viral across social media platforms and is still trending across the world.

Floods are usually associated with loss of life and business, yet they are also part of a natural process that creates fertile lands for agriculture, replenishes wetlands and riverine grassland ecosystem. Floodwaters of the river Brahmaputra are key to the ecology of Kaziranga. Annual flooding revitalises the famed grasslands, which shelter keystone species such as rhinos, tigers and elephants.

Tiger skins

India's tigers

Tiger bone

Dead Nilgiris forest tiger

Study tiger

USA circus tiger

Tigers in the USA

Ranthambore tigers

Tiger bone ointments

Tiger selfies

Maharashtra tiger

Tiger farm tiger

Twycross tiger

Animal rights

Circus tiger

Tribal museum

Poachers OF TIGERS

Robert Irwin