part of environmental magazine
01 / 2008
Big Cats Profiles: EIA Save China Tiger
Contents : WWF
9 10 12 18 20
WWF work........................................................................................ Tiger Ecology............................................................................ WWF and Tiger Conservation.............................................. WWF in action.......................................................................... Conservation Science.............................................................
Species in peril......................................................................... Tiger Campaign objectives................................................... A glimmer of hope for tigers................................................. Victory on tiger farm factory.................................................
23 25 26 28
News Chinaâ€™s new film......................................................................
Save China Tigers Report by Ms.Li Quan.................................................................
32 39 47
Recognized throughout the world for its ferocity and unmistakable beauty, the tiger faces an uncertain future. Due to increases in both natural and human threats, the wild tiger population suffered major losses during the 20th century and has become one of
India today has the largest number of tigers, numbering somewhere between 2,500 and 3,750. However, the Indian government is expected to release new numbers in the coming year. Worldwide it is estimated only 5,000 to 7,000 individual tigers now remain in the wild. These remaining tigers are threatened by many factors, including growing human populations, loss of habitat, illegal
our most endangered species. By the 1950s, tigers living around the Caspian Sea were extinct; between 1937 and 1972 the population of tigers that once inhabited the islands of Bali and Java disappeared; the South China tiger has not been seen in the wild for more than 25 years, and is possibly extinct.
hunting of tigers and their prey, and expanded trade in tiger parts used for traditional medicines. WWF and its conservation partners are working to combat these threats and save the tiger. Together, we can ensure that we leave our children a planet where tigers still roam wild.
Physical Characteristics The largest of all cats, the tiger is one of the biggest and most fearsome predators in the world. Weighing up to 500 pounds and measuring more than nine feet from nose to the tip of the tail, tigers can travel long distances and bound up to 30 feet in one leap. Tigers are distinctively camouflaged with their gold coloring and black stripes. Their fierce retractile claws and powerful bodies put tigers at the top of the food chain - they eat just about anything and nothing eats them. Diet Tigers prefer to eat ungulates, or hoofed animals (such as wild deer and wild pigs), but have been known to eat fish, birds, and even other predators like leopards and bears. Tigers are able to eat up to 80 pounds of meat in one sitting. Hunting, however, can be difficult for tigers - they are successful in only one or two attacks out of every 20. Habitat Tigers are solitary animals and usually come together only to mate. Occasionally, however, small groups of re-
lated adults may associate. Mating can occur at any time and typically produces litters with two or three cubs. Cubs stay with their mother for about two years, as early life is dangerous. One half of all cubs born donâ€™t survive to their third year. Living fairly secretive lives, the remaining tigers can be found across the continent of Asia in variety of environments including forests, grasslands and swamps. Tigers seem to thrive in areas of dense vegetation with numerous sources of water and large populations of ungulate prey. Threats and Status The tiger population is thought to have fallen by about 95 percent since the beginning of the 20th century. These remaining tigers are threatened by many factors, including growing human populations, loss of habitat, illegal hunting (of both tigers and their prey species), and expanded trade in tiger parts used as traditional medicines for treatment of conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. Only 5,000 to 7,000 individual tigers remain in the wild. Although it is one the most magnificent and revered animals, the tiger is listed as â€œendangeredâ€? on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is also listed on CITES Appendix I, which makes trading of live cats or cat parts (i.e., fur, bones and meat) illegal in signatory countries.
WWF & Tiger Conservation
In the past 100 years, the number of tigers has been reduced by 95 percent. We entered the 21st century with tigers already extinct in a number of their historic range countries and the remaining tigers on the verge of meeting the same fate. Across their range, these magnificent animals are being poisoned, electrocuted, snared, shot and even captured as cubs - the majority to meet the demands of the illegal wildlife trade. Since its founding in 1961, WWF has rallied significant support for tiger conservation. In devising its landscape approach, WWF worked with international tiger experts from IUCN, the Smithsonian Institution, Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Tigers are the top predator over some of the worldâ€™s most diverse remaining forests, and successful tiger conservation will not only benefit the animal itself, but also the many thousands of other species that live with it, including humans. Although tigers face formidable odds, there is hope for this adaptable, vigorous species.
The word that best describes WWF and its wildlife conservation mission is ‘action.’ Our wildlife conservation mission is illustrated as much by our victories in the corridors of government as it is by the results we achieve through our on-the-ground, ‘muddy boots’ activities in wildlife animal conservation corridors around the world. Along with our global reach and history of getting things done, what makes WWF so effective is the foundation of sound and innovative science upon which all of our work is based. WWF’s Conservation Science Program is responsible for such groundbreaking concepts as ecoregional conservation of wildlife and the Global 200—both of which have developed a framework through which we will approach the next generation of conservation of wildlife activities. While our endangered wildlife projects and expertise in the arenas of government and science are critical to advancing our wildlife animal conservation goals, WWF also recognizes that perhaps our most important responsibility is the education of future leaders in the field. Our education program provides fun, interactive activities as well as the engaging classroom material on which they are based. Read about some of our recent successes and learn more about a sampling of our endangered wildlife projects. As a force for nature in the field, in classrooms and in capitols, WWF is In Action around the world, ensuring a bright future for our living planet.
WWF in action
Effective conservation requires a solid scientific foundation. The Conservation Science Program (CSP) was founded in 1990 to strengthen this foundation within WWF. Our mission is to advance biodiversity conservation worldwide through the development and application of innovative scientific principles, tools and information.
Fuller Fellowships Learn Fund
about the Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature
We work to fulfill this mission by providing scientific expertise to WWF field programs in the design and implementation of conservation projects, and by conducting targeted research on biodiversity and the factors that threaten it. Our work addresses issues in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater realms, and takes place on global, continental, ecoregional, and local scales. We often employ technologies such as geographic information systems, decision-support algorithms, and hydrologic modeling, and we work to disseminate the skills and capacity needed to use these tools to field programs and partner organizations.
Science Collaborations with other WWF programs are central to our mission, as is our worldwide network of scientific partners in universities, NGOs, and government agencies. We communicate our results and ideas both through direct interaction with field programs and more widely through popular and scientific publications. CSP has been central in developing many of the core components of WWFâ€™s conservation approach, including the Global 200 and Ecoregion Conservation. And CSP is actively pursuing the next generation of innovations designed to keep WWF in the forefront of
EIA Species in peril
enviromental investigation agency
The EIA was established in 1984 to investigate, expose and campaign against the illegal trade in wildlife and the destruction of our natural environment. Working undercover to expose international environmental crime -such as the illegal trade in wildlife, illegal logging and trade in timber species, and the world-wide trade in ozone depleting substances - EIA has directly brought about changes in international laws and the policies of governments, saving the lives of millions of rare and endangered animals and putting a stop to the devastating effects of environmental criminals. EIA is a small organisation which relies on donations from the public, the support of our members, the efforts of volunteer fund-raisers and the support of charitable founda-
tions. Yet our efforts have saved the lives of millions of animals. EIAâ€™s focused and hard-hitting campaigns have made it one of the most successful conservation groups in the world.. Although ambitious, our campaigns and projects have defined and achievable goals to gain greater protection for wildlife and the environment. Our track record of undercover work, scientific documentation and representation at international conventions has earned EIA a world-wide reputation for highly effective and successful campaigning. We also continue to share these skills with local groups and government officials to help power them in the fight against environmental crime.
EIAâ€™s Tiger Campaign objectives are : To investigate, expose and campaign for greater action against the international illegal trade in tiger skins, bones and derivatives To improve tiger conservation in India, by maintaining international pressure on the government to take action to save wild tigers Our campaign delivers the hardhitting truth about those who have failed to act and those that are ultimately responsible for sealing the fate of the worldâ€™s remaining tigers. Our exposĂŠs arm those, both inside
and outside of government, with the information to continue the battle for the tiger; to focus efforts and bring about much-needed changes in the implementation and enforcement of wildlife laws.
Special Announcement: 03 September 2007
A Glimmer of hope for tigers and other asian big cats.
Not a single person was seen wearing genuine tiger, leopard or otter skin at the 2007 Litang Horse Festival in Sichuan, China. This remarkable contrast to the scenes of 2005, when we witnessed hundreds of people wearing the skins of endangered species, is largely due to the success of local and international awareness campaigns. EIA investigators talked to festival attendees and shop owners in the town of Litang, where locals stressed that it is no longer fashionable or politically correct to wear or sell tiger or leopard skins, and that these animals are protected. This long-lasting and profound change in consumer attitude was
also documented by EIA and WPSI in Lhasa in February 2007. The progress may well be localised, but with a continued decline in what was the primary market for tiger, leopard and otter skins, there is room for hope. What we still need to see is greater investment and commitment from the government to introduce the right kind of enforcement, aimed at disrupting the criminal networks that are still engaged in trafficking skins. Unless the individuals who control the trade are stopped, they will simply switch to other more diffuse markets for skin, such as the market for home dĂŠcor and trophies.
Victory in tiger farm fight
Governments gathered from across the world have united in a call to end controversial tiger ‘farms’. And in a key win in the battle to save wild tigers, The CITES convention on endangered species also rejected a lifting of the 14-year ban on domestic trade in tiger parts in China. “This was a major victory for wild tigers, which could be quickly wiped out by poaching if there is a legal market anywhere,” said Uttara Mendiratta of Wildlife Protection Society of India, on behalf of the 35 member organizations of the International Tiger Coalition. The international community has sent a clear message that the world cannot sacrifice the last wild tigers for the sake of a handful of wealthy tiger farm investors.” The International Tiger Coalition said it commended delegates from four countries with wild tigers – In-
dia, Nepal, Bhutan and Russia – and the United States in standing firm on behalf of wild tiger conservation during a lengthy debate. The decision was adopted by consensus, but not before China tried to soften the language. Privately run “tiger farms” across China have bred nearly 5,000 captive tigers and are putting enormous pressure on the Chinese government to allow legal trade in tiger parts within China. They argue that their captive tigers will meet the demand of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) users for tiger-bone tonic wines and medicines. EIA’s Senior Tiger Campaigner Debbie Banks said from The Hague today: “This is a real victory for tigers. It gives a very clear signal from the international community that it is opposed to the farming of tigers. “A lift of the ban would simply lead to an increase of demand for
tiger parts and the ‘laundering’ of skins and parts from poached wild tigers. India and Nepal in particular have been heroic and spoken up strongly and passionately in defence of tigers and should be commended for their stance.” All international trade in tiger parts is banned by CITES, and China has banned domestic trade since 1993. The ban has proven successful in reducing demand for tiger bone and raising public awareness about tiger conservation, studies have found.
For further details, please go to the Reports and Briefings Section of the EIA Tiger Campaign page http://www.eia-international.org/cgi/reports/reports. cgi?t=template&a=151
There are around 5,000 tigers left in the world and India is home to 60% of this remaining population - but it is estimated that one is killed there every day. Since 1996, EIA has been campaigning to force the Indian government to crack down on poaching, trade and habitat destruction. EIA has conducted undercover investigations in consumer countries across Asia, Europe and the USA, to expose the thriving, international illegal trade in tiger products. Saving the wild tiger is not just about saving a species. It is about securing a long-term future for tigers, the forests they live in and the people who depend on those forests for their survival. It is about good governance and overcoming corruption. If we can’t save the wild tiger, what can we save? Today, the world’s remaining wild tigers continue to face threats from the international illegal trade in their body parts and the decline in the tiger’s habitat and prey base. At the heart of these issues lies the major factor that has prevented the wide scale reversal in the decline of the world’s tiger population – the lack of political will. At local, national and international levels apathy and inertia have meant that expert recommendations and initiatives are left to stagnate, relegating the tiger to the political wilderness.
Many ways in which an individual can help :
• Build a Tiger Online! Upload your photo and help stop the tiger trade. • Say ‘No’ to Tiger Farming China is currently attempting to lift the successful ban and legalise the buying and selling of tiger body parts for traditional medicines from farmed tigers. If you would like to take action against this potentially devastating threat to wild tigers please write to the Chinese Ambassador. • Skinning The Cat: Crime and Politics of the Big Cat Skin Trade If you have read our new tiger report, seen the news and want to voice your concern, send a letter……
Write to the Chinese Ambassador in London to express support for Tibetan animal skin burning Tibetan people are making a valuable contribution to tiger conservation by burning their skin decorated costumes. EIA needs your help in supporting this bold initiative. • Call for a Wildlife Crime Bureau in India • Write to President Hu Jintao of China Add your voice to help EIA urge the Chinese Government to take action against the smugglers and traders of tiger and leopard skins • Letter Writing Campaign
“ The EIA team is an example of a new, tougher strain of conservationist. driven to perform daring deeds by man’s exploitation of animals” The Financial Times
All eyes on China in new film A powerful, short film urging China to keep its ban on the tiger trade has been launched.
The information film was made by 35 conservation organisations ahead of the world’s largest wildlife trade meeting next week. One of the UK’s leading actors, Martin Jarvis, lent his voice to the film, which details the consequences that reopening legal trade would have on wild tigers. It is hoped the film will be broadcast on television networks in many countries. The public service film can be viewed at www. endtigertrade.org. Investors in massive, captive tiger breeding centers in China are currently putting pressure on the Chinese government to lift its successful 14-year-old ban on
trade in tiger parts so they can legally sell products like tiger bone wine and tiger meat. The topic is expected to be discussed next week when officials from 171 nations gather for meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in The Netherlands. “Closing China’s tiger markets has helped take the pressure off wild tiger populations across Asia,” said Steve Trent of WildAid. “If China lifts its ban, it will make it open season on tigers in the wild. The crime syndicates that control the black market for tiger parts will use such a legal market to ‘launder’
poached tigers through. By keeping the ban, China will demonstrate its continued commitment and global leadership for tiger conservation.” To protect the ban, 35 environmental, zoo and animal protection organisations, as well as the traditional Chinese medicine community, have joined together as the International Tiger Coalition. The coalition is calling for an end to trade in tiger parts and products through increased intelligence-led law enforcement and strengthening existing tiger trade bans. “Next week’s CITES meeting gives world leaders an opportunity to speak up for one of the world’s most endangered and most hunted
animals,” said Debbie Banks of the Environmental Investigation Agency. “People around the world who care about tigers must let their governments know that they want them to oppose any resumption of tiger trade anywhere.”
Save China Tigers
Founder Ms.Li Quanâ€™s Message A few years ago, I travelled in Africaâ€™s wildlife reserves: in the early morning or late afternoon sun, jeeps carrying tourists go in search of wildlife in the reserves and take rolls and rolls of photographs of them. The excitement one gets from such sightings of wildlife is hard to describe here, and a close encounter with an animal, especially a big one such as elephant or a fierce one such as a lion or leopard is enough to make
you forget about everything else in the world. The money I spent on such trips went to pay for the people who worked in the lodges where I stayed, with a luxury that only the head of an African tribe was entitled to in the old times. The lodges provided jobs for game guides, cooks, cleaners, managers, vegetable growers, food suppliers, trash collectors, and so on, who were all local Africans. Not to mention how much I also spent on buying films, post cards, books, videos and any arts and crafts in the shape of the graceful feline form.
This is when I saw how ecotourism was being used to benefit local people while helping protect wildlife at the same time. Because of the tourist money, jobs were created for locals and profit was ploughed back into buying more land for wildlife. Although I had studied literature and business management, and did not know much about conservation, I realized that it is only viable and sustainable if local people support it. The way to get local people supporting conservation is to involve them and provide them with an opportunity to have a sustainable livelihood.
Although I was never involved in wildlife conservation, I was always in love with the felines, especially tigers. I told myself: if the Africans had done it, the Chinese can do it. One day, I would like to introduce what I saw in Africa and create our Chinese Tiger Conservation Model. In particular, when I saw how a leopard, a lion and a cheetah had created the whole tourist industry around her in South Africa, I started dreaming how a tiger could do the same in China. In my dream I see reserves in China whose developments are based on principles of Africaâ€™s
reserves. It would combine the unique resources of wildlife from China using the Chinese Tiger as the umbrella and draw, with the unique cultural resources of China, not present in Africa but abundant in China, to compete both domestically and internationally for tourist money. This will then be funnelled back into the reserve, community
development and other wildlife conservation projects. Making moderate use of wildlife resources will help make conservation sustainable long term, and the reserve will allow wildlife, which has up to now been under single species protection programs, rejoin Nature and co-exist harmoniously in the wild, thereby safeguarding the entire eco-system.
donâ€™t make me suffer
To accomplish this, we need to do the following:
Maintaining or developing a genetically sound population of captive tigers.
Protecting enough habitat especially grasslands and forests that support a substantial prey base of muntjacs, serow, and wild boar.
Returning captive trained tigers to that habitat.
Educating and engaging local people in ways that will insure that they support the project and even stand to gain from it in certain economic ways.
What is the home of tigers like?
In Africa they used leopards, elephants, lions, as emblems to promote eco-tourism for the whole ecological chain in their reserves. In China, imagine what it was like a few thousand years ago, before we took all the best land away from the animals: herds of David’s deer, spotted deer, wild buffalo, birds, red dogs, wolves, leopards, and at the top of it all - the King of Beasts- Tigers! The intention of this proposed project is to restore habitat and protect the whole ecological chain by using the Chinese tiger as the flagship. In their wild home the animals live free, without human intervention, fending for themselves. They interact with each other, fighting for food, territory and mating rights. Speed and agility are of the essence – whether the animal is hunting or fleeing. As an observer, it is like watching a show, except the scripts and the plots are different every time. This proposal will also help solve the problems currently faced by single species protection programs.
In a deer reserve, in order to protect spotted deer, the reserve managers had no choice but to trap the red dholes that preyed on the spotted deer. There were too many red dholes for the deer. In our Chinese Tiger home, however, the tigers will control the dhole’s numbers. All things interact on the planet and they cannot be isolated. A place where wildlife interacts naturally will require less effort on the part of humans in order to function better. Many of the problems with the conservation of tigers, and other animals, in China, were related to the structure of the nature reserves. So many reserves were set up in the 1990’s, without enough qualified personnel to manage them, and a lack of an alternative livelihood for the people living in and outside the reserves. It is no wonder that they often do not cooperate with the wildlife protection laws but continue to make a living as they did before – eat the mountain when living in the mountain and eat the water if living by the water.
What does it take to build the new home for tigers ?
As we are talking about giving the tigers back their homeland, it is not a simple matter of several acres of land. The range of one tiger in the wild extends from 15 square kilometres to over 100 square kilometres. This depends on prey density â€“ that is, the availability of food that tigers eat. In China, wild boar and deer of all kind are to tigers what rice, grain and pig are for us Chinese. The prey density in China used to be very high â€“ that is why there were still around 100,000 tigers at the beginning of 1900. Therefore, to save the Chinese Tiger, we need to make sure they prosper into a population with enough genetic diversity to ensure adaptability to ecological changes and resistance to disease. When we have at least 100 tigers living in several populations, we can be sure their fate is on the way to being reverted. To
support one population, more than 150 to 200 square kilometres of land may be needed. This obviously depends on the density of prey which in turn is a factor of habitat quality, but tigers do need large areas. For example, a tiger population in SE China may not need a very large area if there is plenty of prey species and the habitat is good, but on the other hand they may need larger areas than reported from other studies - it is unknown. You may say â€“ the tigers need a lot of land! Yes, the tiger is a large carnivore and eats a lot. It does take a lot of land. That is why the Chinese Tiger Conservation Model is proposed. Tourists will pay a lot to see how tigers and other animals live and interact, and the tigers will be making money to support themselves and the people living around them. Tourists will go back again and again because each time, the experience is different. Each time, the show is different. There is nothing I like to watch more than wildlife and I think many of you will be hooked as well. I am afraid that in the end, China will need more than one or two such reserves to satisfy the demand of our curiosities. Having said that, it is not enough to just allocate the land to them. It has to be land where it is not too difficult for us to drive a jeep around. Without a vehicle, you can not escape easily from potentially dangerous situations, although it is very exciting. If you have
restricted access to many parts of the land because the terrain is too difficult, then your chances of seeing a tiger is remote and you will not come back again. You will also tell you friends not to bother. Even in India, where the density of tiger population is highest in the world, you may still not see a tiger in the reserve even if you go for a week. Even though I can introduce the best game reserve management in the world from South Africa, who has the most advanced techniques to ensure that tourists can see a leopard in a matter of three daysâ€™ stay in a reserve, and this technique would be applied to the Chinese Tigers, you will still have a hard time to see a tiger if you can not access the land in some way or the other. After the appropriate land is allocated, we will need to restore the land. Like humans, wildlife needs water, grass, trees, and so on. This is a perfect opportunity to restore what was lost or damaged by human activities. Through the restoration process, we are rebuilding our eco-system, which in turn is good for human beingsâ€™ existence. When the land is ready with abundant food and water, ungulate and bird species can be restored. They will prosper quickly without human disturbance. When there are enough prey animals, carnivores can be brought into the new home- dholes, bears, leopards, and Chinese tigers.
IUCN is working with experts around the world to identify and save threatened species.
our work by making a donation to support vital conservation projects, including identifying threats to species and taking appropriate action to save them.
to fight the extinction crisis now!
please go to http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/donation/donation_page. htm
Publisher, Editor and Art Director Natasha Abramovich www.purrfect-designs.com Special thanks Ingvild Holm (EIA), Save China Tigers, Akvilina Valaytite, Jonny Hardstaff, Simon Downs, Phil Sawdon Printed at Media Services, Loughborough
Naked Planet environmental magazine www.purrfect-designs.com
Promotional and experimental brochure to bring awareness of tigers' extinction and their possible future dissapearance. Typography and layou...
Published on Mar 28, 2010
Promotional and experimental brochure to bring awareness of tigers' extinction and their possible future dissapearance. Typography and layou...