Tiger Conservation is a Long Term Failure

We have to conclude that tiger conservation as a whole and in the long term is a failure. This is not necessarily to criticise conservationists. It is simply that a dead tiger as a product to supply the body parts trade is more valuable than a live one and the short term benefits of that simple fact drives poaching and corruption in what are still relatively poor countries in which the tiger finds itself.

Where there is human poverty within the tiger range there is bound to be poaching. Commercial interests always outweigh conservation because commerce is richer.

If conservation has failed why give money to fund conservation? Good question. We either change tactics completely in respect of conservation or we decide that we don't want the tiger living in the wild anymore and go to the end game.

At the moment it is the slow drip, drip of conservation failure that is leading to one conclusion: the extinction of the tiger in the wild.

The tiger is actually becoming extinct in captivity too if you refer to the fact that the purebred nature of tigers in captivity is being destroyed. Bengal tigers are hybrids and so are Siberian tigers etc. Zoo keepers are breeding hybrids. The probably have to, to keep tigers in captivity. If it is not hybrids it is inbred and damaged individual cats.

It is not all bad and horrible but it ain't good either. Tiger populations have fallen from an estimated 100,000 about 100 years ago to about 3,000 now. We don't really know how many there are. Counting techniques are not that reliable. Camera traps are currently used.

The idea that tourism assists the conservation of the tiger has taken a blow because Indian authorities have decided that tourists damage the tiger's environment. They are limiting tourism through reserves. That said there are so few tigers in some reserves (if any there at all) that you will be very lucky to see one. The populations of tigers in some reserves are so low as to make the population nonviable. These are island populations remember.


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