The most frequently asked question regarding the problem of tigers is whether there are solutions. But in a country without strong leadership and were money and power dominate it, it is not easy for a tiger to survive.
In 2010 in St. Petersburg (Russia) all tiger range countries except North Korea put their signatures under a package of measures: the Global Tiger Initiative. This was presented as the rescue for tigers.
A quick scan of the tiger range countries shows:
- Bangladesh: dramatic reduction in tiger numbers.
- Bhutan: substantial increase.
- Cambodia: no signals about new tracks of tigers.
- China – including Tibet: the provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin have increased the number of tigers. Although it is unclear this is because of migrating tigers from Russia and/or North Korea.
- India: a large increase in the number of tigers, but media and NGOs have serious doubts about the validity of the measurement and the reliability of the figures.
- Indonesia: worrying signals about the number of tigers.
- Laos: still little known, the expectation is that tiger numbers has hardly increased.
- Malaysia: sharp drop in the number of tigers.
- Myanmar: still little is known, it is expected that number of tigers has hardly increased, probably even declined.
- Nepal: sharp increase in the number of tigers.
- North Korea: unknown.
- Russia: a sizeable increase in the number of tigers, but foreign NGOs question the reliability of the figures. Media in Russia are not critical because the tiger is a ‘pet project’ of President Putin, while major foreign NGOs are on a leash by the Kremlin, which has already given a warning to many foreign NGOs.
- Thailand: still little known, it is expected that tiger numbers have remained equal or even increased.
- Vietnam: still little known, it is expected that number of tigers has hardly increased, probably even declined.
Too many countries show a worsening situation compared to 2010, despite a pledge at ministerial or even presidential level to save tigers. Suffice to say that it does not work when countries themselves are unable to address the problems and to reverse the situation.
There are four key issues:
- Chinese mafia that makes an incredible amount of money via wildlife crime.
- Industries (mining, logging, palm oil) earn hundreds of billions of dollars in areas where tigers live.
- The enormous growth in of the world.
Look at the problems and you know that a simple solution is not easy.