Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Petting Lion & Tiger Cubs at Malls & Fairs

The idea of petting and playing with a tiger cub has an understandable natural appeal.  The cubs are adorable, and the tiger is one of the most powerful and fascinating of all animals.  What you don't know haunts them for a lifetime of deprivation and abuse.




Sunday, November 28, 2010

'Tiger Queen', wildlife flick shot in HD, vies for green crown


Claire Antao, TNN, Nov 28, 2010, 06.23am IST

PANAJI: "This is not a 'Save the tiger' campaign film," said S Nallamuthu before anyone even suggested it, "I think there are more NGOs working for the cause of tiger protection than there are tigers left in India. I don't want to be in the crowd."

Nallamuthu who prefers being called Nalla, said of his film 'Tiger Queen', "We have been following machli (the main tigress in the film) in the wild for many years and her life and struggles inspired me to make this film. She is 14 years old and won't live very long, so we decided to follow her life with her last litter."

India's first-ever wildlife film shot on high definition (HD) camera by director Nalla is among the 10 shortlisted environmental films vying for the Indian government's Vasudha award under the Short Film Category. The film premiered on National Geographic Worldwide and was shown on animal planet in the USA.

'Tiger Queen' explores the battle for power and supremacy in the wild tiger family. The action-packed film is set in Ranthambore and Sariska national parks in Rajastahan. "There are no anchors. It's a real story presented by tracking a tiger family in their habitat," said Nalla, who feels that after watching this emotional drama the audience will naturally be moved to protect the tiger.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Tiger-Queen-wildlife-flick-shot-in-HD-vies-for-green-crown/articleshow/7002560.cms

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hope for Wild Tigers Rises on Political, Financial Pledges



Tigers playing in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh, India (Photo by Samaj Kalyan Evam Vikas Adhyayan Kendra)

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, November 26, 2010 (ENS) - At the International Tiger Conservation Forum this week in St. Petersburg, government leaders and ministerial officials of the 13 countries where wild tigers remain endorsed a wide-ranging plan to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.

Tiger populations have fallen by 97 percent over the past century and just 3,200 wild tigers survive in populations scattered across Asia due to poaching, conflict with people and habitat destruction.

Hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, governments capped a year-long political process with about US$127 million in new funding to support the plan, known as the Global Tiger Recovery Programme.

In addition, the World Bank has offered a US$100 million loan package to three tiger range countries for conservation work, and the Global Environment Facility offered to provide up to US$50 million in grant funding for tiger habitat conservation.

"While our discussion today is about the fate of the tiger, we are in fact touching on issues that are critical for the entire planet, humanity and its future," Putin told forum participants on Tuesday.

"Using the example of the tiger, we are speaking about how to preserve nature," Putin said. "We are saying that human civilization can only develop sustainably if we take a responsible attitude to nature, our common home. We all have to work hard and join forces to ensure that this attitude becomes widespread."

The Global Tiger Recovery Programme will enable the 13 governments to coordinate their efforts, attract financial, administrative and technical resources, and stimulate collaborative research, Putin said.

"I'd like to emphasize that by approving this program, our countries commit themselves to complying with environmental requirements. But the most important task will be to integrate our tiger conservation targets into long-term socioeconomic development plans," said Putin. "Achieving these objectives will require firm political will and heavy investment, financial or otherwise. But I'm sure that the motivation for such efforts is there."

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told the International Tiger Forum, "The increase of human population, the expansion of human activities and the deterioration of ecological environment have driven wild tigers across the world to the brink of extinction."

"The first priority to solve the issue is to actively curb excessive human activities and work for harmony between human development and natural ecological systems," Wen said.

Addressing forum participants, Putin quoted, "the great humanist Mahatma Gandhi," as saying, 'In a country where tigers live well, everyone lives well.'"

"This is a true and profound remark," said Putin. "If people are capable of taking care of Mother Nature, of our splendid big cats, they can take care of their fellow human beings as well."

Radhika Lokesh, India's Consul General in St. Petersburg, announced on behalf of Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, that India has allocated a budget of 10 million rubles for the Global Tiger Forum, and pledges to allocate US$1 billion for village relocation away from tiger habitat.

"With a long tradition of tiger conservation, India currently has 39 tiger reserves, and plans to add eight more," said Lokesh. "The government is now committed to securing inviolate areas for tigers and possible expansion of areas on a priority basis."

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the world community to help her country to protect the Sundarban and the Royal Bengal tigers. "The international community can join in our efforts to save this natural green wonder, the Sundarban," she said.

"Too often, conservation efforts languish for lack of political will," said WWF Director General Jim Leape. "At the forum here in St. Petersburg we have seen political will at the highest level - heads of government committing themselves to saving the tiger, and laying out concrete plans to turn those commitments into action on the ground."

Leape warned that wild tigers could become extinct in the wild by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger if they are not protected. Three of the nine tiger subspecies - the Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers - have gone extinct in the past 70 years.

"We have never before seen this kind of political support to save a single species," Leape said. "We now have the strategy needed to double tiger numbers and real political momentum. Initial funding commitments offered here will help get action underway. Much more funding must be mobilized in the months ahead."

In St. Petersburg, American actor Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $1 million to WWF to benefit wild tigers. DiCaprio is a member of the board of the nonprofit conservation organization. His difficult first trip to Russia involved a commercial jet plane that caught fire on November 21 and turned back to New York, and a smaller plane, rocked by Atlantic storms that ran out of fuel and had to land in Finland's capital Helsinki for refueling before eventually making it to St. Petersburg.

In a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Putin in St. Petersburg, DiCaprio, who is half-Russian, said he first became interested in tiger conservation when tiger experts had addressed him.

"Mr. DiCaprio has not just come to us, but simply burst through the frontline. Excuse me if you may, but in our country people usually say - that's what we call a real man," Putin said. "And I think that if people with such character would be responsible for defending nature or a tiger in this particular case, we're destined for success."

World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick, who has backed the tiger forum during the organizing period, told participants the World Bank is working with tiger range countries and nongovernmental organizations to save wild tigers.


Prime Minister Vladmir Putin and actor Leonardo DiCaprio in St. Petersburg (Photo courtesy Office of Prime Minister Putin)

"First, the World Bank is working with Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan, and we hope India, to finance a South Asia regional Wildlife project of approximately $100 million," Zoellick told the gathering.

Zoellick said the bank's cooperating partners include WWF, the wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC, the the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, IFAW, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, among others.

"Second, we will work on a similar project with tiger range countries in Southeast Asia," said Zoellick.

Additional partners include the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, the international policing agency INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Customs Organization, and, regional institutions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Wildlife Enforcement Network to stop the illegal trade and trafficking in tiger body parts.

"This could include additional finance," said Zoellick.

While delegates in St. Petersburg were pledging their commitment to sustain tigers in the wild, in Ussuriysk, Russia, a magistrate in the Primorsky Krai, a Russian South Far Eastern territory, found Sergey Burtsev guilty of killing a female tiger in June 2010.

The court imposed a fine of 150 thousand rubles ($4,800) as punishment and additional fine of 575,125 rubles ($18,400) as a compensation for environmental damage to the state. Burtsev ahd already paid $1,600, and the court confiscated two guns illegally in his possession.

Poaching is a major threat to tiger conservation. Reinforcement of environmental control and punishment for illegal trade, keeping and trafficking in tiger skins and other parts was one of the proposals that WWF submitted to the Russian government this year.

"We are planning to toughen punishment for tiger poaching and for the criminal business on these animals," Prime Minister Putin told tiger forum participants.

Yet within the past two weeks, a tiger was poached in the Russian Far East, another was found poisoned in north India, and Tuesday IFAW reported that a third wild tiger was killed in the northeast Indian state of Assam.

"These tiger deaths highlight how critical it is to translate talk into action," IFAW head Fred O'Regan told forum participants. "IFAW is committed to providing enforcement training and capacity-building support to range countries dealing with the challenge of protecting tigers and the people living near tiger reserves."

"The tiger summit delivered what we hoped - the turning point in our efforts to save one of the world's best-loved species," said Ginette Hemley, senior vice-president at WWF. "Never before have we seen the world rally together to save a single species and now we all need to put in the hard work necessary to get wild tigers from the current point of crisis to healthy recovery."

The 13 tiger range countries will meet during the next six months to secure additional funding for the recovery plan, and will finalize the long-term financing of the plan in July. They will meet again in December 2011 to monitor how well the 12-year plan to save tigers is working.

At a news conference following the forum, Prime Minister Putin said, "The goals set forth in the Global Programme for Tiger Conservation cannot be achieved without the active participation of ordinary citizens. Broad public support and understanding of the process are extremely important for the success of the programme."

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/nov2010/2010-11-26-01.html

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vietnam commits to tiger conservation

Updated : 9:53 AM, 11/27/2010

Vietnam stands ready to cooperate with foreign countries and international organizations in improving tiger conservation on its own soil and the region as whole.

Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Bui Cach Tuyen made this commitment at a historic tiger conservation forum held in Saint Petersburg, Russia, from November 21-24.

The forum, hosted by Russian Prime Minister V. Putin, was the first international forum on conservation of an endangered wildlife species.

The event was attended by high-profile representatives from 13 countries home to wild tigers, namely India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, China and Vietnam. Also present were representatives of UN agencies and foreign non-governmental organisations engaged in biodiversity conservation.

At the forum, governments capped a year-long political process with about US$127 million in new funding to support the plan known as the Global Tiger Recovery Programme. The funding will include a large loan package from the World Bank to some tiger range countries and millions in additional grants from the Global Environment Facility.

The World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) committed US$50 million over the next five years on tiger conservation and set a goal of increasing that to US$85 million.

The Global Tiger Initiative was raised by the WB President in 2008 with tiger range countries committed to doubling the current wild tiger population of close to 3,200 individuals by 2022.

http://english.vovnews.vn/Home/Vietnam-commits-to-tiger-conservation/201011/121781.vov

http://www.bigcatresue.org/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Day for TIGERS!

We celebrate Thanksgiving at Big Cat Rescue and it's a favorite holiday for the Tigers, Lions and Leopards too! Watch as we hand out whole turkeys and chickens to the big cats living at the sanctuary, the cats consume the whole bird bones 'n all!



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Protecting where the wild things are


By Kathy Lally
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, November 20, 2010

IN MOSCOW The tale of the magnificent Siberian tiger, and its unfinished fight for survival, should be a compelling one for the 500 conservationists and world leaders arriving for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's tiger summit this weekend.

The summit on the fate of the tiger has been convened in St. Petersburg as the singular chance to keep the world's last 3,000 or so wild tigers from extinction, and the near-death experience of Russia's big, beautiful animals informs how they can be saved elsewhere.

"Russia was the first country to almost lose its tigers," said Dale Miquelle, director of the Russia program for the Wildlife Conservation Society, "and the first to bring them back. There's a long history of lessons in Russia."

Miquelle, who has been working in the Russian Far East since 1992, will attend the summit, and if asked, he knows what he would tell the dignitaries.

"Tigers need three things," he said Friday, from Vladivostok.

"They need space. They need their habitat and prey protected - deer and wild boar. And they need laws against poaching vigorously enforced. It's a very simple formula. It's very doable."

Everyone seems to agree tigers - which numbered 100,000 worldwide a century ago - won't go on living unless people behave differently. But the world has never found it easy to agree on what to do about anything, and so it is with the tiger, which has inspired the imagination of humans everywhere, who see strength, fierceness and passion in the graceful cat.

In 2008, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick organized the Global Tiger Initiative, targeting the summit in 2010 - the Chinese Year of the Tiger - as the time tiger countries would figure out a plan, now aimed at doubling the number of cats in the wild by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.

Each of the 13 tiger range countries is arriving with its own plans, and the summit - from Sunday through Wednesday - is meant to consolidate them, set a common agenda, attract financing and mobilize the political and popular will to carry them out. The United States, a major donor to tiger conservation, will be there.

So far, there's been polite disagreement about how far-reaching the plans should be, with much sentiment to go big and broad - engaging and educating communities, vastly expanding protected landscapes and restoring tigers to a much wider range than they now inhabit. Others argue that the situation is so dire that time and money should be concentrated on relatively few areas before declaring loftier ambitions.

"We want to see tigers living in large, healthy landscapes," said Barney Long, WWF tiger program manager, "not in small parks where they are vulnerable to outbreaks of poaching."

The Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera, a conservation organization dedicated to wild cats, have proposed narrowing efforts, and WCS has suggested 42 sites where tigers should be protected.

Joe Walston, director of WCS-Asia, says that with 70 percent of the world's tigers fairly concentrated - including 18 "source sites" in India, eight in Malaysia and six in Russia - money should be aimed at monitoring and strengthening law enforcement to stop poaching in such areas.

Broader attempts are too risky, warns Luke Hunter, Panthera's executive vice president. "If you start talking about infrastructure and saying a dam can't be built unless it doesn't harm tigers, that's all good," he said. "The problem is we don't have time for it. Educating communities is a good thing, but by the time the children have grown up, the tigers will be gone."

Zoellick contends that those points of view are less contradictory than they appear. "We all agree that if you don't preserve the core population, there's nothing to talk about," he said, but at the same time those populations need room to roam.

Somehow, the WWF says, everyone will agree, because they must if there's any hope of saving the tiger. "The impediment will be financing," said Mike Baltzer, head of WWF's Tigers Alive initiative. "We're hoping donors will step up."

Strong anti-poaching laws and financing strict enforcement will be on Russia's agenda as it hosts the summit. Russia has watched tigers decline or prosper as laws and police weakened or grew powerful.

Its Siberian tiger - the Amur tiger - once roamed the forests and mountains of the Russian Far East by the hundreds. But hunting and trade destroyed them, and by 1940, when Lev Kaplanov, the director of a Russian nature preserve, did the first scientific count, he found only 20 to 30.

By 1948, the Soviet government had outlawed tiger hunting and there was little means or reason to violate the law.

Guns were strictly controlled, the border with China was very much closed, preventing trafficking, and the sale of tiger parts was prohibited. By the late 1980s, perhaps 400 were on the prowl.

"There was no incentive to poach," Miquelle said, "and it largely ended."

As the Soviet Union slowly crumbled into chaos, however, those controls disappeared, replaced by a poverty that encouraged hunting and a ready market in nearby China, where tiger parts are valued for folk medicine. Now 20 to 30 tigers are poached in Russia every year, and Miquelle fears for the future of the 500 Siberians thought to be left. Few die of old age.

Just Monday, anti-poaching police in the Russian Far East stopped a truck in the Khasan region near the border with China and North Korea. They found a tiger carcass inside and arrested four people on poaching charges.

Miquelle mourned the dead tiger but rejoiced in the arrests.

"If we can't protect the tiger, we can't protect the natural resources we rely on," he said. "If we can save the big cats, we can save ourselves."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/19/AR2010111906543.html

Protecting where the wild things are


By Kathy Lally
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, November 20, 2010

IN MOSCOW The tale of the magnificent Siberian tiger, and its unfinished fight for survival, should be a compelling one for the 500 conservationists and world leaders arriving for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's tiger summit this weekend.

The summit on the fate of the tiger has been convened in St. Petersburg as the singular chance to keep the world's last 3,000 or so wild tigers from extinction, and the near-death experience of Russia's big, beautiful animals informs how they can be saved elsewhere.

"Russia was the first country to almost lose its tigers," said Dale Miquelle, director of the Russia program for the Wildlife Conservation Society, "and the first to bring them back. There's a long history of lessons in Russia."

Miquelle, who has been working in the Russian Far East since 1992, will attend the summit, and if asked, he knows what he would tell the dignitaries.

"Tigers need three things," he said Friday, from Vladivostok.

"They need space. They need their habitat and prey protected - deer and wild boar. And they need laws against poaching vigorously enforced. It's a very simple formula. It's very doable."

Everyone seems to agree tigers - which numbered 100,000 worldwide a century ago - won't go on living unless people behave differently. But the world has never found it easy to agree on what to do about anything, and so it is with the tiger, which has inspired the imagination of humans everywhere, who see strength, fierceness and passion in the graceful cat.

In 2008, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick organized the Global Tiger Initiative, targeting the summit in 2010 - the Chinese Year of the Tiger - as the time tiger countries would figure out a plan, now aimed at doubling the number of cats in the wild by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.

Each of the 13 tiger range countries is arriving with its own plans, and the summit - from Sunday through Wednesday - is meant to consolidate them, set a common agenda, attract financing and mobilize the political and popular will to carry them out. The United States, a major donor to tiger conservation, will be there.

So far, there's been polite disagreement about how far-reaching the plans should be, with much sentiment to go big and broad - engaging and educating communities, vastly expanding protected landscapes and restoring tigers to a much wider range than they now inhabit. Others argue that the situation is so dire that time and money should be concentrated on relatively few areas before declaring loftier ambitions.

"We want to see tigers living in large, healthy landscapes," said Barney Long, WWF tiger program manager, "not in small parks where they are vulnerable to outbreaks of poaching."

The Wildlife Conservation Society and Panthera, a conservation organization dedicated to wild cats, have proposed narrowing efforts, and WCS has suggested 42 sites where tigers should be protected.

Joe Walston, director of WCS-Asia, says that with 70 percent of the world's tigers fairly concentrated - including 18 "source sites" in India, eight in Malaysia and six in Russia - money should be aimed at monitoring and strengthening law enforcement to stop poaching in such areas.

Broader attempts are too risky, warns Luke Hunter, Panthera's executive vice president. "If you start talking about infrastructure and saying a dam can't be built unless it doesn't harm tigers, that's all good," he said. "The problem is we don't have time for it. Educating communities is a good thing, but by the time the children have grown up, the tigers will be gone."

Zoellick contends that those points of view are less contradictory than they appear. "We all agree that if you don't preserve the core population, there's nothing to talk about," he said, but at the same time those populations need room to roam.

Somehow, the WWF says, everyone will agree, because they must if there's any hope of saving the tiger. "The impediment will be financing," said Mike Baltzer, head of WWF's Tigers Alive initiative. "We're hoping donors will step up."

Strong anti-poaching laws and financing strict enforcement will be on Russia's agenda as it hosts the summit. Russia has watched tigers decline or prosper as laws and police weakened or grew powerful.

Its Siberian tiger - the Amur tiger - once roamed the forests and mountains of the Russian Far East by the hundreds. But hunting and trade destroyed them, and by 1940, when Lev Kaplanov, the director of a Russian nature preserve, did the first scientific count, he found only 20 to 30.

By 1948, the Soviet government had outlawed tiger hunting and there was little means or reason to violate the law.

Guns were strictly controlled, the border with China was very much closed, preventing trafficking, and the sale of tiger parts was prohibited. By the late 1980s, perhaps 400 were on the prowl.

"There was no incentive to poach," Miquelle said, "and it largely ended."

As the Soviet Union slowly crumbled into chaos, however, those controls disappeared, replaced by a poverty that encouraged hunting and a ready market in nearby China, where tiger parts are valued for folk medicine. Now 20 to 30 tigers are poached in Russia every year, and Miquelle fears for the future of the 500 Siberians thought to be left. Few die of old age.

Just Monday, anti-poaching police in the Russian Far East stopped a truck in the Khasan region near the border with China and North Korea. They found a tiger carcass inside and arrested four people on poaching charges.

Miquelle mourned the dead tiger but rejoiced in the arrests.

"If we can't protect the tiger, we can't protect the natural resources we rely on," he said. "If we can save the big cats, we can save ourselves."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/19/AR2010111906543.html
Representatives of 13 countries are meeting in Russia to outline plans to double the wild tiger population, currently as low as 3,200.

By Simon Montlake, Correspondent / November 19, 2010

New Delhi
This weekend, representatives of 13 countries will gather in St. Petersburg, Russia, to pledge support for the tiger, a rare example of a summit on behalf of a single species. The meeting will be hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and has been in the works for two years.

Countries will outline plans to double the wild tiger population by 2022, the year of the tiger in China, which is also the largest market for tiger skins and body parts, according to researchers. Tigers once roamed much of Asia, but are virtually extinct in some countries due to poaching and forest clearance.

But, as with Afghanistan, the tiger summit is fraught with deep divisions over how to turn around an increasingly dire situation. Some conservationists are skeptical that the meeting will yield much. Others argue that it will attract political support to a broad-based conservation effort that requires a sustained focus to succeed.

A separate debate among conservationists is whether the current patchwork of tiger reserves is sufficient to stop the decline and if it should be replaced by a smaller number of "source sites" where female breeding tigers are found, effectively giving up on marginal populations.

There is also controversy over a Chinese proposal to allow a trade in farmed tiger parts, though this has been left off the summit agenda. Critics say that breeding captive tigers for slaughter wouldn’t quell the demand for wild tigers, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine for various ailments. Proponents say farmed tigers would relieve the pressure on wild populations.

India's economic boom eating into tiger conservation zones
The debate over how to save the tiger has resonance in India, home to over 1,400 wild tigers. Its delegation to St. Petersburg will be led by the head of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, an agency created in 1973 in response to a drastic fall in tiger numbers. India has 39 reserves and six conservation zones for tigers, though some have been depleted by poaching.

This commitment predates India’s recent rapid economic takeoff. “We’ve been spending money on tigers, even when the chips were down,” says Ravi Singh, secretary general of WWF in India.

But India’s economic boom isn’t necessarily a plus for its rich wildlife. A rush to develop rural areas, dig mines, and build road has eaten away at forest reserves where tigers roam, often over hundreds of miles in search of prey. Corruption and low morale is blamed for the failure of forest rangers to protect wildlife.

What galls some critics of the tiger summit is that its main backer, the World Bank, has a checkered record in India. While its president, Robert Zoellick, helped launch the two-year Global Tiger Initiative, the bank continues to fund coal-fired power stations and other development projects in India with major environmental impacts, including on forests.

“There’s a fatal flaw in the whole thing and that’s the World Bank. That’s where the problem is,” says Bittu Sahgal, editor of Conservation Asia, a magazine published in Mumbai. He claimed the bank was trying to green-wash its image. Bank officials have argued that coal is an unavoidable part of the energy mix in countries like India and China.

An estimated 104 tigers killed per year
Even the idea of a summit to save a single species may raise eyebrows. But conservationists say that focusing on a large, iconic predator like the tiger makes sense, as safeguarding its habitat also protects other species living there. The tiger initiative also aims to promote poverty reduction in catchment areas and carbon emission allowances for countries that set aside wildlife-rich forests.

Some critics say this extra baggage obstructs the pressing need to protect vulnerable wild tigers in countries like Russia and Indonesia, and to stop the illegal trade in tiger parts that is fed by Chinese demand. TRAFFIC, a wildlife monitoring agency, recently calculated that seizures of tiger parts and skins since 2000 suggested that at least 104 tigers were slain annually, a figure that omits those tiger products that evaded capture as well as natural mortality.

Samir Sinha, the head of TRAFFIC in India, argues that the summit’s holistic approach to tiger conservation is valid. “It’s basically ticking the boxes you like. But it filters into saving the species,” he says.

National reserves, or natural corridors?
Experts differ on how this might be done. A group of academics recently proposed the “6 percent” strategy, which would protect only national reserves with viable numbers of breeding tigers. Other reserves would be abandoned. The idea would be to revive the wild population by concentrating resources on 6 percent of the historic range of tigers in Asia.

This approach contrasts with the "landscape" strategy of WWF and other conservation groups, which aim to preserve natural corridors outside protected areas so that tigers can roam more widely. Mr. Singh points out that breeding tigers on core sites would eventually create a dilemma of what to do when the population is too large for its habitat. It would also be hard to take back land that had been given up for development, which is likely to accelerate if India continues its economic boom.

“If we only look at the conservation sites and give up the rest it will be lost forever,” he says.

Siberian Tiger Photo Gallery: http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/Siberian-Tigers

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/1119/Putin-on-the-prowl-to-save-world-s-endangered-tigers

Wildlife group targets Myanmar-China tiger trade

By Denis D. Gray
Associated Press / November 19, 2010

BANGKOK—Wildlife trafficking officials say they have reached a preliminary agreement with an ethnic minority group in Myanmar to close down markets where hundreds of poached tigers from across Asia are sold for use in purported medicines and aphrodisiacs in China.

The markets, in an area of northeastern Myanmar controlled by the Wa minority, are considered one of the world's hot spots for wildlife trafficking, and among the only places left where tiger parts are openly sold.

"Basically closing these markets will alleviate pressure on all of Southeast Asia's tiger populations because the sourcing is being done from areas as far away as India and Sumatra," said William Schaedla of the wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC. "If we were to close these markets it would stop the drain on those source populations of tigers."

Schaedla, TRAFFIC's Southeast Asia director, spoke ahead of a "tiger summit" in St. Petersburg, Russia, aimed at saving the endangered species from extinction. There are believed to be as few as 3,200 wild tigers remaining, down from about 100,000 a century ago -- a decline of 97 percent.

The Nov. 21-24 conference, hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, will attempt to finalize a plan to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022. It is being described as the first international meeting on a single wildlife species.

"If the markets are not closed, we will see the end of all tigers," Schaedla told a press conference Friday. None of the goals set at the St. Petersburg summit can be reached if the illegal wildlife trade in the Thailand-Myanmar-China border region is not stopped, he said.

A TRAFFIC report released Friday said in a decade-long investigation, hundreds of parts of more than 400 big cats were seen in the Myanmar-China border town of Mong La, controlled by the Wa, and Tachilek, on Myanmar's border with Thailand.

Some traders operated small warehouses with shelves of rolled-up tiger and leopard skins. Bones, paws, penises and teeth were also found, used for home decor, magic amulets and products advertised as health tonics and aphrodisiacs, the report said.

The wildlife trade is especially rife in the Wa region, with Chinese traders coming to Mong La to buy and eat wild animals, gamble and consort with prostitutes in what TRAFFIC investigators described as a "wild west" atmosphere. Tiger bone wine is a popular drink with those out for sex.

The Wa, who have forged a semiautonomous region and field a powerful army, have long been accused of massive drug trafficking.

"They're interested in establishing contact with the outside world, and this is a much less contentious issue than some of the other things that they're facing, such as human trafficking or drugs or some of the other crime issues. And it's perhaps also a much more straightforward issue for them to take care of," Schaedla said, explaining why the Wa may want to make a deal to shut down the markets.

Schaedla said he was cautiously optimistic the Wa could be trusted to keep the agreement with TRAFFIC, a joint program of WWF and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2010/11/19/wildlife_group_targets_myanmar_china_tiger_trade/?rss_id=Boston.com+--+Latest+news

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Tigers could be extinct in 12 years if unprotected

(AP) – 11.21.2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries where they still roam fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts told a "tiger summit" Sunday.

The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say only about 3,200 tigers remain in the wild, a dramatic plunge from an estimated 100,000 a century ago.

James Leape, director general of the World Wildlife Fund, told the meeting in St.Petersburg that if the proper protective measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger.

Their habitat is being destroyed by forest cutting and construction, and they are a valuable trophy for poachers who want their skins and body parts prized in Chinese traditional medicine.

The summit, which runs through Wednesday, is hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who has proficiently used encounters with tigers and other wild animals to bolster his image. It's driven by the Global Tiger Initiative which was launched two years ago by World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

The summit approved a wide-ranging program with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in the wild by 2022 that is backed by governments of the 13 countries that still have tiger populations: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia.

"For most people tigers are one of the wonders of the world," Leape told The Associated Press. "In the end, the tigers are the inspiration and the flagship for much broader efforts to conserve forests and grasslands."

He said that along with a stronger action against poaching, it's necessary to set up specialized reserves for tigers and restore and conserve forests outside them to let tigers expand.

"And you have to find a way to make it work for the local communities so that they would be partners in tigers conservation and benefit from them," Leape said.

The summit will be seeking donor commitments to help governments finance conservationist measures. The Global Tiger Recovery Program approved at the meeting estimates the countries will need about $350 million in outside funding in the first five years of the 12-year plan. About 30 percent of that estimate would go toward programs to suppress the poaching of tigers and of the animals they prey on.

Russia's Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said that Russia and China will create a protected area for tigers alongside their border and pool resources to combat poaching.

For advocates, saving tigers has implications far beyond the emotional appeal of preserving a graceful and majestic animal.

"Wild tigers are not only a symbol of all that is splendid, mystical and powerful about nature," the Global Tiger Initiative said in a statement. "The loss of tigers and degradation of their ecosystems would inevitably result in a historic, cultural, spiritual, and environmental catastrophe for the tiger range countries."

Three of the nine tiger subspecies — the Bali, Javan, and Caspian — already have become extinct in the past 70 years.

Much has been done recently to try to save tigers, but conservation groups say their numbers and habitats have continued to fall, by 40 percent in the past decade alone.

In part, that decline is because conservation efforts have been increasingly diverse and often aimed at improving habitats outside protected areas where tigers can breed, according to a study published in September in the Popular Library of Science Biology journal.

Putin has done much to draw attention to tigers' plight. During a visit to a wildlife preserve in 2008, he shot a female tiger with a tranquilizer gun and helped place a transmitter around her neck as part of a program to track the rare cats.

Later in the year, Putin was given a 2-month-old female Siberian tiger for his birthday. State television showed him at his home gently petting the cub, which was curled up in a wicker basket with a tiger-print cushion. The tiger now lives in a zoo in southern Russia.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jzKWRNifFmP0qjv9lbY-uyrBb2vA?docId=007fd7c5fb1549a59361cd475e58de91

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TIGER FAIL!! Vegetarian Tiger??

SHERE KHAN weighs over 700lbs! He is a Siberian/Bengal tiger and he eats grass just like your domestic cat at home :) Why do cats eat grass? ...



Saturday, November 13, 2010

*BAD BIG CATS!!

*FACT: Tigers, Lions, Leopards and any other species of wild cat will NEVER make a suitable "pet". Despite this obvious statement, it's 100% LEGAL to privately own these animals in over half of the United States!

 



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Petting Lion & Tiger Cubs

When you pay to pet a cub, what are you really supporting? This video shows you how people pimp out tiger cubs to support themselves while making no provisions for the lifetime care of the big cats they are breeding and buying. Watch this video about two such pay to play schemes run by Kathy Stearns of Dade City's Wild Things and Joe Schreibvogel of G.W. Exotics.



Monday, November 08, 2010

BOBCATS of Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue is home to 32 bobcats! Whether they are former "pets", fur farm rescues or wild bobcats that were injured and unable to be returned to the wild, they all have permanent sanctuary at BCR.