According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, but despite this celebration of the big cat, tigers are in serious trouble all around the world.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that “tigers are in crisis around the world, including in the United States, where more tigers are kept in captivity than are alive in the wild throughout Asia.”
There are a number of issues that have caused the tiger to become an endangered species, including climate change and population boom, but Tigernet, a database that tracks tiger mortality and tiger-related crime in India, might finally give those committed to protecting these majestic animals a much-needed technological advantage.
Wanderlust reports that, “Dwindling populations as well as a suspected surge in wildlife crime led the wildlife trade monitoring network ‘TRAFFIC‘ and India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority to develop Tigernet. This is the latest effort under India’s ‘Project Tiger’, founded in 1973.”
Without a dedicated wildlife park service, India’s tigers are at increased risk from hunters that pay no attention to preservation areas. Public demand is also to blame, as WWF reports that illegal trafficking in tiger bones, skins and meat feeds a continued demand in East and Southeast Asia.
According to Science Daily, “WWF is releasing a new interactive map of the world’s top 10 tiger trouble spots and the main threats against tigers. WWF is also launching a campaign: Tx2: Double or Nothing to support tiger range states in their goal of doubling wild tiger numbers by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.”
Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons - sandeep baraskar