Bangladesh’s Tigers Are Coming Back

The Bengal tiger joined the endangered species list in 2008, and by 2011 it was estimated that only around 2,500 were left.

The tiger has been threatened on multiple fronts. Fragmentation and loss of habitat set the stage for extinction. And poachers and other conflicts with humans did the rest. Tigers are highly coveted for their skins and other body parts, and opportunist poachers are willing to do whatever it takes (and break any law) to get their hands on the lucrative animal.

However, there has finally been a glimpse of hope.

Bangladesh has made a concentrated effort to clamp down on poaching, according to Atlas Obscura. It set up a stronger security patrol system to catch poachers in the act. And it established a gun buyback program, offering to buy weapons from poachers in exchange for money, mobile phones and legal aid. Nearly 200 pirates and poachers participated in the program, and police said it made a noticeable difference in the number of illegal hunters. This initiative was paired with expanding conservation land, so tigers had a much larger wildlife sanctuary.

Specifically looking at the Sundarbans mangroves in southern Bangladesh and India, a 2015 census of tigers counted only 106 remaining. In 2004, there had been an estimated 440. Now, however, experts are saying the 2018 count showed 114 tigers living in the Sundarbans.

It’s a small increase — but a significant one.

“It marks an eight-percent increase in tiger population,” Bangladesh’s Minister of Forestry Shahab Uddin said as he presented the census, according to Phys.org. “It is a great success.”

Counting the tiger population is an imprecise art. According to Atlas Obscura, scientists use camera traps “strategically deployed at 536 locations in the Sundarbans over 640 square miles of land” to document tiger movement. They plug that limited data into a model, which predicts the total number of animals in the set area.

But despite this new success, the Bengal tiger remains in danger.

In addition to the threats that have already pushed the tigers to the brink of survival, it is predicted that climate change may completely wipe out the species. According to The New York Times, roughly 70 percent of the Sundarban habitat is mere feet above sea level — meaning the rising waters that accompany climate change may be the final nail in this majestic creature’s coffin.

This May, Care2 is launching a campaign to protect endangered species. Join us to save these real-life fantastic beasts!

Photo credit: Flickr/Paul Mannix

79 comments

Gabriel C
Gino Cabout a month ago

Thank you for posting

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA Rabout a month ago

Thank You Bangladesh! Gives hope. ❤️Keep up the good work.
Thank you for posting!

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Michael F
Michael Friedmann1 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

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Emma L
Past Member 1 months ago

very good

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Angeles Madrazo
Angeles Madrazo1 months ago

Good news! Gives hope. Thank you

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Caitlin L
Caitlin L1 months ago

Thank you

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Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege1 months ago

Thank you for sharing this piece of good news

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Thomas M
Thomas M1 months ago

thanks very much

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Tania N
Tania N1 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Tania N
Tania N1 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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