Sunday, April 3, 2016

Tigers were predicted to be extinct by 2020... but now there's good news for the big cats

Tigers were meant to be extinct by 2020... but there's good news for the big cats

The majestic creatures may end up thriving, contrary to predictions

What's new pussycat? Tigers may be here to stay after all Alamy
05:50, 3 Apr 2016 
WIDLIFE experts warned us years ago that tigers will probably be extinct in the wild by 2020, but thankfully that miserable prediction is looking increasingly unlikely.
Just six years ago it was suggested that poaching and habitat loss would result in the near-extinction of the majestic animals by the end of the decade.
But now those predictions have been updated and experts have discovered that tiger numbers are far more resilient than we previously assumed.
Resilient... tiger numbers are not declining - as experts previously feared Alamy

A hundred years ago, there were 100,000 tigers living in the wild, but their numbers had tragically dipped to just 3,200 by 2010.
However, that perilously low figure is actually rising, as part of a huge turn-around for the fortunes of the ferocious felines.
In fact, tiger numbers could double to well over 6,000 before 2020 – when they were predicted to become practically extinct.
The majestic cats are making a recovery thanks to forest conservation Alamy
A study in Science Advances outlined the new hope for wild tigers, concluding that forest loss wasn’t as drastic in many tiger habitats as it had been feared.
As a result, tiger numbers will climb if this trend for forest conservation continues.
The study claimed that India and Nepal are largely responsible for the boost in tiger numbers, with 61% and 31% increases in the size of their respective tiger populations.
Anup Joshi, of the University of Minnesota, told Fox News: “When we did this study, we thought there would be a lot more forest loss because some of the fastest growing economies in the world are the tiger range countries.
“What we found was that in most tiger conservation landscapes it was pretty intact.
“That is because the protection is pretty good. The people on the ground are protecting the core tiger reserves.”
Stunning... the creatures are known for their power and beauty Alamy
The study used data from Google Earth to map forest loss but, despite the good news in India and Nepal, they found worrying trends for forest decline elsewhere.
In order to incubate the growth of fragile tiger populations, experts are calling for greener infrastructure and the reintroduction of tigers to areas where they previously died out.
“We need more conservation efforts there and we must influence policy makers,” Joshi said. “Where loss has taken place to palm oil or other causes, it’s devastating. It’s not all a rosy picture.”


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