Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's last remaining tigers clustered in 6% of available habitat

Date:
September 15, 2010
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Researchers have revealed an ominous finding: most of the world's last remaining tigers -- long decimated by overhunting, logging, and wildlife trade -- are now clustered in just six percent of their available habitat.

A new study identifies 42 source sites scattered across Asia where most of the 1,000 breeding female tigers remain. This tiger was photographed in Bukit Braisan Selatan National Park in Indonesia.
Credit: Wildlife Conservation Society

A new peer-reviewed paper by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups reveals an ominous finding: most of the world's last remaining tigers -- long decimated by overhunting, logging, and wildlife trade -- are now clustered in just six percent of their available habitat. The paper identifies 42 'source sites' scattered across Asia that are now the last hope and greatest priority for the conservation and recovery of the world's largest cat.

Related Articles


The securing of the tiger's remaining source sites is the most effective and efficient way of not only preventing extinction but seeding a recovery of the wild tiger, the study's authors say. The researchers also assert that effective conservation efforts focused on these sites are both possible and economically feasible, requiring an additional $35 million a year for increased monitoring and enforcement to enable tiger numbers to double in these last strongholds.

The study -- published online by PLoS Biology -- is authored by: Wildlife Conservation Society researchers Joe Walston, John Robinson, Elizabeth Bennett, John Goodrich, Melvin Gumal, Arlyne Johnson, Ullas Karanth, Dale Miquelle, Anak Pattanavibool, Colin Poole, Emma Stokes, Chanthavy Vongkhamheng, and Hariyo Wibisono; Urs Breitenmoser of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group; Gustavo Fonseca of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); Luke Hunter and Alan Rabinowitz of Panthera; Nigel Leader-Williams of the University of Cambridge; Kathy MacKinnon of the World Bank; Dave Smith of the University of Minnesota; and Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission

"While the scale of the challenge is enormous, the complexity of effective implementation is not," said Joe Walston, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Asia Program and lead author of the study. "In the past, overly ambitious and complicated conservation efforts have failed to do the basics: prevent the 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 million -- is 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 species"

Alan Rabinowitz, President and CEO of Panthera, said: "We know how to save tigers. We have the knowledge and the tools to get the job done. What we are lacking is political will and financial support. The price tag to save one of the planet's great iconic species is not a high one."

The authors say that in spite of decades of effort by conservationists, tigers continue to be threatened by overhunting of both tigers and their prey, and by loss and fragmentation of habitat. Much of the decline is being driven by the demand for tiger body parts used in traditional medicines.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Walston et al. Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink—The Six Percent Solution. PLoS Biology, 2010; 8 (9): e1000485 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000485

Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "World's last remaining tigers clustered in 6% of available habitat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914171323.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2010, September 15). World's last remaining tigers clustered in 6% of available habitat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914171323.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "World's last remaining tigers clustered in 6% of available habitat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100914171323.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins