Global Tiger Day, Living with Tigers3 august 2021
In order to promote the wild tigers and habitats conservation, raise public awareness and support for tiger protection, WWF and its partners had successfully held 11 tiger day public event since 2010. This year's 11th global tiger day public event was successfully held in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. We have made some achievements on the road of protecting tigers, but still have a long way to go.
The significance of tiger conservation
As a top predator, tigers maintain the balance of forest ecosystem by regulating the number of herbivores. Protecting a tiger means protect 10,125 hectares of forest, which equals to the area of more than 10 thousand football fields. While saving tigers, we also save natural resources to ensure a better future for humans, wildlife and the earth. As Peiqi Liu, the Northeast regional project director of WWF, said, "We safeguard the Amur tiger as our flagship species, which is actually to protect its habitat and biodiversity; it is to protect the home where human and tiger live together."
However, in the past century, the habitat area of wild tigers in the world has been reduced to 20%. At present, wild Amur tigers are only distributed in the far east of Russia and the eastern mountain areas of Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in China. In the past 100 years, the number of wild tigers in the world has dropped from 100 thousand to about 4000, a decline of 97%.
There are fewer than 600 wild Amur tigers in the world, and only about 30 are recorded in China every year. In China, habitat fragmentation and human wildlife conflict affect the recovery of tiger population. In particular, habitat fragmentation, human communities and linear infrastructure, such as high-speed rail, lack of corridor planning, making it difficult for wild tigers to disperse and breed freely. The construction of ecological corridor is the top priority of tiger conservation in China.
Living with tigers
The theme of 2021 tiger day is "living with tigers", with a variety of online and offline activities. Online, WWF launched the "double tigers challenge"; WWF celebrity volunteers led the public to join the campaign. WWF and Kuaishou organized the “tigers links with tiger collections”, together with more than 10 museums nationwide to display 30 tiger related collections. WWF and Xuxuduoduo created a animation named Mr Dragon: Alone. The short film highlights the realistic problems such as habitat fragmentation, and is beloved by children. At the same time, WWF cooperated with Jilin Jiutai Rural Commercial Bank Northeast Tiger Basketball Club to shoot a tiger conservation video, which was supported by the majority of fans.
Offline activities were carried out in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. Through the performances related to tigers, such as Dear Tiger, Love in the Mountains and Tiger Lives in Power, the public attention is attracted on tiger conservation.
© WWF CX
© WWF CX
Protect the tiger, we are in action
WWF has made great efforts to save the wild Amur tiger. At present, WWF's wild tiger conservation projects include infrared camera monitoring of Amur tiger and leopard, habitat identification and assessment, reserve management capacity building, rangers’ capacity building, anti-poaching project and conservation and community development project. WWF provides key protection tools for tiger range in China, such as SMART, CA|TS, SAFE, SAMAP, etc.
In terms of habitat identification and impact assessment, WWF and its partners used the big data of Amur tiger population from 2000 to 2017, combined with 12 kinds of fine data, including topography, meteorological factors, vegetation, prey and human disturbance, to evaluate and determine the habitat pattern of Amur tiger population in China, and analyzed the three connecting corridors between the core habitat sections of Amur tiger using the minimum cost model method. These research results will be used for reference in the formulation of "WWF comprehensive conservation and restoration plan of Amur tiger population", and then guide the comprehensive protection and restoration action plan of Amur tiger population in China in the next decade or even longer.
© WWF CX
Fortunately, after years of conservation efforts, China's wild tiger population is slowly recovering. WWF and its partners have established the pilot of SAMAP (anti-poaching monitoring and evaluation mechanism), and the snare density of the 9 pilot reserves has decreased significantly. However, while the number of tiger populations is rising, the risk of HWC is also rising. Balancing community development and protection has become a major protection task. WWF is working with the partners, governments and communities to ensure the safety and future of tigers in all wild tiger range.