Study shows tiger “clusters” are the last hope for species

As the dramatic decline of the tigers becomes more and more abrupt, it seems more and more possible that pretty soon, we will be living in a world without tigers. Numerous plans and various approaches have been taken, but the results have been pretty scarce so far, and the fate of these wonderful felines seems pretty dire.

Just so you can get a clue, in Asia, their major homeland, there are less than 3,500 tigers that live in about 7 percent of the area they once used to. What’s even more dramatic is that their numbers continue to go down, mostly from the destruction of habitat and poachers. The cost of ¬†law enforcement and monitoring to protect and conserve tiger wildlife would merely amount to about 35 million dollars, according to a study published in PLoS Biology.

The tiger is facing its last stand as a species,” John Robinson, executive vice president of conservation and science for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in a statement.

It should be also said that only 1.000 tigers are currently breeding females, which is no good news at all. So what’s the solution ? According to the same study, it’s grouping the tigers together. Practically, almost three quarters of all remaining tigers live in less than 4.5% of current tiger range. Protecting these “source sites” is vital.

Tiger cubs. A sight that becomes more and more rare as years pass

“While protecting source sites is essential to reverse tiger declines, this is but one element of a long-term recovery strategy. For wide-ranging, low-density species like the tiger, conservation planning at the landscape level is necessary, landscapes need to remain permeable to tiger movements, and source sites have to remain embedded in those larger landscapes.”, concludes the study

However, judging by how the numbers are going, it is paramount that the small remaining numbers of tigers are protected and taken care of, especially since the success of this protection has been already demonstrated.

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