Tiger Day 2015: the need for radical conservation is dire

Malayan tiger populations are critically low (Image: WWF)

Malayan tiger populations are critically low (Image: WWF)

29th July, is officially Global Tiger Day.

It is a sad day, when one reflects on the decline of tiger populations across the globe.

But it is a day of hope, with the World Wildlife Fund's goal to double wild tiger populations by 2022.

This is good news for Malayan tigers, whose population levels are critically low.

Estimates suggest there were 3200 wild tigers globally in 2014. The count is down this year, at 3000 tigers. At this rate, tigers may face global extinction within the next 5 years.

Malayan tiger populations are impacted by habitat disturbance, logging, reductions in prey and poachers

It is presumed there may be as few as 250 - 340 adult Malayan tigers in the wild. This number is low. Very low.

Of greater concern, however, is the estimate that 85% of their habitat is located within forests that are designated for selective logging.

And logging has been shown to deter the large mammals, due to disturbance and associated reductions in prey.

These figures, published earlier this year, demonstrate how desperate the situation is becoming. If this were not enough, the tigers continue to face the threats of illegal poaching. The efficacy of poaching patrols in protected forest regions has been demonstrated.

Is this enough?

It seems unlikely.

Research in conservation biology is contributing to our knowledge regarding the threats the tigers, and their prey face. Hopefully, in time, the avenues we should be following will become clear and accessible.

Hopefully we can all help WWF meet their goal!

Support the tiger, visit WWF Tiger Day.

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