June 19th, 2009
Wild tigers – a cultural icon for billions of people and one of the indicators of global environmental sustainability – are devastated by illicit wildlife trade and indiscriminate habitat destruction. With only 3,500 animals left in the wild and their habitats shrunk to 7% of their original space, this species faces imminent range collapse and extinction within a decade if the business-as-usual scenario prevails. Despite winning several tiger conservation battles, the world is losing the war. The plight of wild tigers is also emblematic of the broader systemic challenge of reconciling biodiversity conservation and economic development agendas.