Endangered Species

Tiger Conservation and China

There’s a glimmer of hope coming from Chinese and Indian officials meeting in Beijing to discuss business interests and wildlife conservation, according to MSN News.  

The two countries are hoping to approve a protocol that includes shared actions to fight poaching of tigers and their body parts, including educational programs to stop poaching and the related captive breeding and releasing of captive tigers into the wild.

Dead young tiger 4Indian officials consider the discussion important since they blame Chinese traditional medicine as the reason behind tiger poaching.  While China has officially banned trading in tiger parts, its peoples’ interest in traditional medicines fuels demand for dead tigers.  India has emphasized the need for China to refuse to yield to pressures from tiger farm owners to lift the ban against the trade.  Unfortunately, the tiger farms may have increased the demand for tiger parts.

China has just 50 tigers left in the wild, and about 5,000 on tiger farms, reports the Hindustan Times.  Officials have agreed to register all tigers to keep track of them. 

As well, India is hoping that China will join the Global Tiger Forum, a network of 13 countries that have tigers.  The forum has discussed ways to protect tigers but without China, the largest market for tiger body parts, the discussion remains simply talk.

Tiger 3Meanwhile, China and Russia have agreed to create the first cross border tiger conservation reserve for the rare Siberian tiger, reports International Business Times

Wildlife in the area is suffering from poaching, habitat destruction, and a human-caused lack of prey.  Creation of the forest reserve will save other animal species as well as the tigers.

Let’s hope that these two glimmers of hope are signs that China will become more environmentally and conservation friendly.

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Alison Wheatley

Alison Wheatley

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