Project History & Aims
One hundred years ago 100,000 wild tigers roamed throughout Asia, now there could be as few as 3,200.
In the last 100 years Asia’s wild tiger range has shrunk by 93% and 40% of that happened in the past ten years.
21st Century Tiger channels money raised by the public, international zoo community and corporate supporters, to carefully chosen wild tiger conservation projects which provide the best conservation value and make the most difference.
Wild tigers are under threat of extinction across their whole range from habitat degradation and fragmentation, depletion of prey animals and poaching to supply a large illegal global trade in their body parts. The projects they support focus on these major threats.
Projects are ongoing in Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, India, China, Russia and Thailand. Details on a few of the projects are detailed below:
BUILDING A TIGER STRONGHOLD IN PARSA WILDLIFE RESERVE, NEPAL
The Parsa Wildlife Reserve and the Bara Forest have received scant conservation attention, despite the ability to accommodate the growing tiger population in the adjacent Chitwan National Park. There is strong evidence to suggest that these areas are being used regularly by tigers.
Bara represents excellent tiger habitat with a good mix of old growth forest and riverine grasslands. However, protection is lacking in the Bara forest, creating an easy target for tiger poachers compared to the heavily protected Chitwan National Park.
This project aims to tighten protection in this area using community based anti-poaching units whilst monitoring the status of tigers and their prey.
Since the beginning of this project, 127 km2 of the Bara forest has been brought under the same protective legislation as Parsa and Chitwan. This means that the same level of protection will now be given to this area.
Although it will take some time to impact on local prey and tiger populations, this is a great achievement for the team on the ground.
KERINCI SEBLAT TIGER PROTECTION 2000 – 2016, INDONESIA
Indonesia is one of the world’s largest archipelagos and is situated between Asia and Australia. The island of Sumatra is located in Indonesia and is the only island where you can find the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Today there are thought to be an estimated 400-500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild; our projects help to conserve the tiger and its habitat throughout Indonesia.
This on-going program aims to support the Indonesian Government’s commitment regarding protection of threatened species, particularly the critically endangered Sumatran tiger. The program is committed to maintaining a sustainable, and effective species conservation program in one of Asia’s most important national parks.
DISEASE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMME – WILDLIFE VETS INTERNATIONAL (WVI)
Critically Endangered, the Sumatran tiger numbers approximately 500 in the wild. Its decline is due to high rates of habitat loss and fragmentation, and poaching.
Habitat degradation leads to small, fragmented populations and tigers using a mixed use landscape to survive. This increases the likelihood of tigers coming into contact with diseases carried by domestic animals, some of which are potentially lethal to tigers.
In addition, a reduced genetic diversity often seen in small populations can lead to an increased susceptibility to disease. There are high levels of human-tiger conflict in Sumatra and an illegal trade in tiger parts.
In recent years it has been reported that conflict tigers are behaving uncharacteristically – apparently healthy animals losing their fear of people and straying into villages. These symptoms are worryingly consistent with infection with Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), which can be fatal in large cats. Furthermore, such behaviour makes tigers far more vulnerable to poachers. Wildlife Vets International (WVI) is working with a number of partner organisations to determine to what extent tigers are exposed to CDV and other pathogens across its range and in Sumatra.
How is Banham Zoo supporting 21st Century Tiger?
In 2015 Banham Zoo donated £850 to 21st CENTURY TIGER.
A total of £4,195 has been donated by Banham Zoo since 2012
For more information go to www.21stcenturytiger.org.
Photos courtesy of ZSL / 21st Century Tiger.