WWF: 2010 Is Year of Tiger Conservation
By David Bois Monday, January 4, 2010 1:45 PM ET
This upcoming February 14 marks the start of the new year according to the traditional Chinese calendar, and most of what we will know as 2010 will be the Year of the Tiger.
According to the Guardian, the World Wildlife Fund is gearing up a dedicated conservation program highly appropriate for this time.
Attaching top priority to remaining wild tiger populations around the world, WWF has announced that this year will witness the organization redoubling its efforts to preserve habitat and to give remaining species of wild tigers an earnest boost in their struggle to remain viable.
The numbers paint a dire picture indeed, but WWF underscores past tiger conservation efforts to indicate how successful and dedicated conservation efforts can and do make a huge difference. The Amur tiger, native to eastern Russia, was facing extinction as its ranks had been culled through hunting down to a few dozen. As a result of successful efforts to impose and enforce hunting bans, their population has rebounded back to about 500.
Diane Walkington, overseeing species conservation efforts from the WWF's UK outpost, provided a statement to the Guardian that the organization's plans for the year are not simply about one critically endangered but solitary species:
"Of course, there are thousands of other species on the endangered list. However, there is particular importance in selecting a creature such as the tiger for special attention. To save the tiger, we have to save its habitat which is also home to many other threatened species. So if we get things right and save the tiger, we will also save many other species at the same time."