Wild tigers show unprecedented growth, but still a long way to go

TORONTO, April 10, 2016 /CNW/ - The global wild tiger population has increased for the first time since conservation efforts began in the 1960s, according to new data released today.

There are now about 3,890 wild tigers on the planet, up from 3,200 in 2010, according to new data released today by WWF and the Global Tiger Forum. The data comes from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the latest national tiger surveys. One-hundred years ago, there was an estimated 100,000 wild tigers worldwide.

In Nepal, where WWF-Canada works on tiger conservation, the population has risen from 121 to 198 over five years, an increase of over 60 per cent.

Reasons for the increase

The revised population number can be attributed to multiple factors, including increases in tiger populations in India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan, improved surveys and enhanced protection of tigers and their habitats. Since 2010, WWF and the governments in the 13 countries with tiger populations have been working to double the wild tiger population to 6,400 by 2022 – the next Chinese year of the tiger. The goal is called Tx2.

Still cause for concern

While tiger numbers are increasing in some countries, they're declining in others and have already disappeared from some. Cambodia on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 declared tigers extinct in that country, and announced plans to reintroduce two males and five or six females from elsewhere.  Even if the global goal of 6,400 wild tigers is reached by 2022, the species will always require conservation efforts due to the irreversible habitat destruction.

Quote from Rinjan Shrestha, WWF-Canada's lead specialist for Asian big cats

"The rise of global wild tiger numbers demonstrates positive momentum and great hope for the survival of a species that was on the brink of extinction. In Nepal, we've managed to stop the rapid decline of tigers over the past six years, but we still have a long way to go to meet the goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. With concrete, on-the-ground actions taken over the next six years, we can succeed."

To help grow the wild tiger population, WWF-Canada:

  • Supports wildlife rangers, law enforcement agencies and local communities to prevent the illegal slaughter and trade of tigers. Our anti-poaching project in Nepal's Banke National Park (BaNP) achieved one full year without poaching in 2014;
  • Provides training to local communities on tools and techniques that monitor tiger populations and identify threats to their lives and habitats;
  • Restored 76 hectares of grasslands and two wetland sites with local partners in BaNP to draw more prey species to the area;
  • Supports the implementation of Conservation Assured Tiger Standards;
  • Supports the use of the Spatial Monitoring and Assessment Tool, which empowers front-line staff and promotes transparent monitoring of anti-poaching efforts.

What Canadians can do to help

  • Donate now at wwf.ca/wildtigers to help WWF-Canada's tiger conservation efforts in Nepal.
  • Your donation will have double the impact. An anonymous donor has generously offered to match all donations up to $75,000 in support of WWF's efforts to double the worldwide population of wild tigers.
  • $40 buys a first-aid kit for an anti-poaching patrol; $60 provides safety measures for tiger rangers; $100 equips an anti-poaching patrol squad with jackets and communication devices.

What WWF is doing globally

  • Works in all 13 tiger range nations to double the global tiger population.
  • Professionalizes wildlife protection by training rangers, developing conservation standards and technology to achieve zero poaching.
  • Works with TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, to curb the trade in tiger parts and products.
  • Works to restore tiger populations and distributions to at least 20 per cent of their former range, including recovering tiger and prey populations, managing tiger habitat and creating additional protected areas.

The numbers


Total April 2016




National Survey 2015



National Survey 2015



IUCN 2015



IUCN 2015



National Survey 2014



IUCN 2015 (lower range)



IUCN 2015



IUCN 2015 (lower range)


No current data available*

IUCN 2015



National Survey 2013



National Survey 2015



IUCN 2015 (lower range)



IUCN 2015

Global Total



*The Myanmar Government figure is 85 tigers from a 2010 estimate. However as there is no recent survey data available, this figure has not been included.

About World Wildlife Fund Canada

WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that wildlife, nature and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more info visit wwf.ca


For further information: Philippe Devos, director of communications and media, pdevos@wwfcanada.org, +1 416-453-0092


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