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WCS study finds potential to double tiger numbers in South Asia
Date:11/5/2007

numbers in key areas over the next decade. This new initiative, called Tigers Forever, blends a business model with hard science, and has already attracted the attention of venture capitalists who have pledged an initial $10 million to go to specific projects to support the initiative.

Unlike earlier efforts to set tiger conservation targets that were mostly based on land cover maps, this study for the first time incorporated field data on tiger densities derived from the pioneering camera trapping work of WCS researcher Dr. Ullas Karanth and colleagues. The study also assessed the impact of the landscape matrix surrounding the reserves using tiger population models based on measured and expected tiger densities.

The researchers found that landscapes surrounding protected areas play a significant role in the ability of those reserves to support tigers. The 21 areas most capable of supporting large numbers of tigers are concentrated in a few regions in central India, and the Indian borders with Nepal and Bhutan. Eighteen of the protected areas currently contain tiger populations.

The remaining 129 protected areas do not have the potential to sustain high numbers of tigers, but nonetheless these reserves could be capable of containing tigers over the long term if the landscape surrounding the reserves are better managed to reduce negative impacts.

Though no truly accurate global numbers exist, conservationists guess that 5,000 tigers remain in the wild. About 150 years ago, 100,000 tigers may have roamed throughout much of Asia according to some guesses.


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Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

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