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Last strongholds for tigers identified in new study
Date:9/14/2010

hunting of tigers and their prey. With 70 percent of the world's wild tigers in just six percent of their current range, efforts need to focus on securing these sites as the number one priority for the species."

According to the paper, fewer than 3,500 tigers remain in the wild, of which only about 1,000 are breeding females. Walston and his co-authors identified 42 tiger source sites, which were defined as sites that contain breeding populations of tigers and have the potential to seed the recovery of tigers across wider landscapes.

India was identified as the most important country for the species with 18 source sites. Sumatra contains eight source sites, and the Russian Far East contains six.

The authors calculate the total required annual cost of effectively managing source sites to be $82 million, which includes the cost of law enforcement, wildlife monitoring, community involvement, and other factors. However, much of that is already being provided by range state governments themselves, supplemented by international support. The shortfall$35 millionis needed to intensify proven methods of protection and monitoring on the ground.

"The tiger is facing its last stand as a species," said Dr. John Robinson, Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science for the Wildlife Conservation Society. "As dire as the situation is for tigers, the Wildlife Conservation Society is confident that the world community will come together to save these iconic big cats from the brink for future generations. This study gives us a roadmap to make that happen."

Dr. Gustavo Fonseca, team leader of natural resources at the Global Environment Facility, said: "A key goal for us is to help identify the most efficient path forward so countries can achieve their global biodiversity conservation objectives. The GEF is pleased to have been able to contribute to this initial assessment focusing on the highest priority sites for the future of this magnificent sp
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Contact: Stephen Sautner
ssautner@wcs.org
718-220-3682
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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