IANS Monday 16th April, 2007
An international meet on ways to save the tiger and boost conservation strategies kicked off here Monday, with nearly 80 experts from 12 countries exchanging ideas and views.
The three-day International Tiger Symposium is being hosted by Nepal's ministry of forest and soil conservation and department of parks and wildlife conservation in collaboration with conservation agencies.
Though there are about eight tiger species in the world, three of them have been dwindling fast, falling prey to loss of habitat, poachers and diseases.
It is estimated that there are only 5,000-7,000 tigers left worldwide.
Bangladesh is considered a success story in tiger breeding while in Nepal, according to a tiger census conducted five years ago, the tiger population was estimated to be around 360.
While Bhutan and Russia have also reported a stable tiger population, the species is fast dwindling in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos.
Tiger parts are sold clandestinely by poachers, with China being one of the largest consumers, buying animal parts for supposed aphrodisiac and medicinal qualities.
Organised by the Global Tiger Forum, an international inter-governmental group, the symposium will discuss the problems of poaching and trafficking, tiger farming and garnering political and local support for the preservation of the species.
The symposium will be preceded by the fourth general assembly of the Global Tiger Forum.