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Wildlife Conservation Society: Tigers Are "Winning" in Parts of India, Russia, and Thailand

The Wildlife Conservation Society has offered its praise to the governments of India, Russia, and Thailand as their efforts have helped tigers and other big cats in "winning" their re-population. Despite habitat encroachment, poaching, loss of prey, and other imminent threats, the six endangered species of tigers which live throughout 13 Asian countries are slowly but surely making their comeback certain.

During an interview with National Geographic, Joe Walston of the Wildlife Conservation Society (who works as the executive director for Asia Programs) believes action taken by "true government commitment" within regions like India's Nagarahole and Bandipur National Park, Russia's Central Ussuri Wildlife Refuge,
and Thailand's Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary have helped the tigers' rebound. Officials have strengthened anti-poaching patrols, scientific monitoring, surveillance efforts, increased ranger staff, and enacted laws which make the possession, transport, and sale of tigers and other endangered animals a criminal, rather than civil, offense.

Additionally, as Walston states, new corridors like the one introduced between Russian and Chinese government as the Ussuri Wildlife Refuge, give opportunities for "tigers to move between different areas to breed and connect up. This makes for larger, more robust, and genetically healthy populations."

World wide tiger populations are estimated at an all time record low, hovering around 3,200 tigers in the wild, yet Walston is hopeful that the gains within India, Russia, and Thailand will increase attention worldwide and inspire other countries to assist in not only saving the tigers but several other species. In Walston's words: "When we conserve tigers, we're actually conserving a whole host of species that are maybe not as charismatic or iconic but are equally valuable - and equally threatened."

Related Links:
National Geographic

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