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The worldwide tiger habitat has shrank dramatically over the last 100 years.  (Source: Curious Maps)

There are now estimated to be less than 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Researchers and conservationists estimate the species could go extinct in a couple decades without dramatic intervention.  (Source: Moss Project)
One of the world's largest and most iconic predators may soon go extinct in the wild

Amid all the fuss over global warming and alternative energy, the continued loss of biodiversity is being largely overlooked and forgotten.  And the trend may claim its highest profile victim to date in just a couple decades, say conservation groups.

For at least a million years tigers have roamed the forests and jungles of Asia, ruling the top of the food chain.  But today Tigers are facing a final bow from the world they once ruled as their habitats have been destroyed and their numbers slashed by poaching.  

At the start of the twentieth century there were an estimated 100,000 tigers, according to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), an environmental advocacy firm that studies the unique species.  Over the course of the last century those numbers shrank and several subspecies -- the Bali, Javan, and Caspian Tigers -- went extinct.  

The WWF has released a new report estimating that there are now only 3,200 tigers left in the wild in India, Southeast Asia, Russia, and China.  They estimate that within a generation tigers will become extinct in the wild, if drastic action is not taken to conserve them.

Sybille Klenzendorf, director of the WWF-US species conservation program comments, "There is a real threat of losing this magnificent animal forever in our lifetime. This would be like losing the stars in the sky. Three tiger subspecies have gone extinct, and another, the South China tiger, has not been seen in the wild in 25 years."

World Bank, a multinational financial institution that provides loans to developing countries, is partnering with the WWF in a push to save the beasts.  

Keshav S. Varma, program director of the World Bank's Global Tiger Initiative comments, "Unless we really crack down on illegal trade and poachers, tigers in the wild have very little chance. If the tigers disappear, it is an indication of a comprehensive failure. It's not just about tigers. If you save the tiger, you are going to save other species. It provides an excellent indicator of commitment to biodiversity. If they survive, it shows we are doing our job right. If they disappear, it shows we are just talking."

Despite the fact that so few tigers remain, demand for their body parts is at an all time high on the Asian black markets.  Crawford Allan, director of TRAFFIC-North America, which monitors the trade in wildlife, comments, "The demand for bones and skin, meat, and even claws and teeth ... is driving a major crime campaign to wipe tigers out in the wild."

Lixin Huang, president of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine has teamed with the WWF to try to fight Chinese natives from using tiger parts in their traditional remedies.  States Huang, "Traditional Chinese medicine does not need tiger bones to save lives.  What we are dealing with is an old tradition, an old belief that tiger wine can make their bones stronger. That is not medicine, that is from old tradition."

The WWF's ambitious goal is to try to get the tiger population doubled to 6,400 tigers in the wild by 2022.  To do that, they say they will need $13M USD a year and cooperation from the governments of Bangladesh, China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia, the United States, Vietnam, and the Greater Mekong region, which stretches across Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

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RE: All the money in the world won't save them
By Dorz on 2/11/2010 4:22:07 PM , Rating: 4

We're a pitiful race on times.


RE: All the money in the world won't save them
By porkpie on 2/11/2010 5:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
a) I would take ANYTHING the WWF says with a huge grain of salt. They are very well known for their bald-faced lies. I know Siberian tiger populations were as low as 30-50 total cats in WW2, and have since rebounded sharply to over 500. And this report from India seems to suggest populations are rising there as well:

b) I know Jason loves every chance he can get to push his environmental crap -- but really, does this story have ANY purpose being on a tech site?

By Spuke on 2/11/2010 5:59:56 PM , Rating: 5
I would take ANYTHING the WWF says with a huge grain of salt.
I agree. Look what happened to Hogan.

By Alexvrb on 2/11/2010 10:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
No doubt. The pro-CAGW posts are at least funny to read (I for one think of Al Gore as the new Joseph Smith).

This one however was kind of like yeah, that's nice, why is this here? Did the tigers review a graphics card, or did they get banned from Xbox Live for cheating? Maybe the poachers used Google Maps to locate their targets!

Since he can throw random blog posts onto the front page of Dailytech (and by extension, Anandtech), we might as well rename it. Suggestions? I was thinking BleedingHeartech.

RE: All the money in the world won't save them
By Andy35W on 2/12/10, Rating: -1
By redbone75 on 2/12/2010 2:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
I'm with you on this.

Tell me, though, do you see this:
by Andy35W on February 12, 2010 at 1:32 AM

Quit hijacking Andy35W's posts, Andy!

By jonmcc33 on 2/12/2010 9:22:34 AM , Rating: 1
I know Jason loves every chance he can get to push his environmental crap -- but really, does this story have ANY purpose being on a tech site?

I think he's implying that we get their DNA and clone them. That's as tech as you can get.

By Iketh on 2/12/2010 12:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
b) I know Jason loves every chance he can get to push his environmental crap -- but really, does this story have ANY purpose being on a tech site?

this is a story that must be spread everywhere, simply because the result is completely irreversible should it be allowed... furthermore, if I were a member of a conservationist group or a body that deeply cares, I'd come calling to technology to help us in whatever way it can, too

By sxr7171 on 2/15/2010 4:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Truer words have not been spoken with regard to your second point.

Does this site have any other writers? I mean please send Mick down to a lower role until he can prove that he is worthy of writing for this blog. Let him start his own litle Greenpeace site. I think he'd be more at home there.

How in the heck did Anand pick this guy to be such a prominent writer on his news site? It would be better if he just wrote the headline (which must be checked by someone else for sensationalism) and then just post a link to the actual article. Reading Jason's editorials are a waste of time.

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