Agence France-Presse. (2008, March 12). World tiger population shrinking fast, WWF warns. [Online]. Available: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5iUNd3wcn3ITlPCKcpmsLWwc6lrmg [2008. March 21].
tigers; endangered; population; poaching; habitat; India; medicinal; trade; China; government; farming
The number of tigers in the world has diminished at an alarming speed in recent years, global conservation group WWF cautioned on Wednesday, blaming poaching for much of the decline.
"We are left with roughly 3,500 tigers all around the world now," Bivash Pandav, a tiger specialist at the World Wildlife Fund, told AFP, pointing out that "five years back, the estimate was around 5,500 to 6,000."
In India, which is home to nearly half of the world's tigers, or 1,400 animals, the number of the big cats has shrunk by 60 percent over the past three to four years, Pandav said during a visit to Sweden.
A century ago, some 40,000 tigers roamed the Indian subcontinent, according to the WWF, which singles out poaching, widespread destruction of the tigers' natural habitat and human hunting of their prey as the main causes of today's dire situation.
"Poaching is primarily to meet the demand for tiger bones in traditional Chinese medicine ... That's the immediate reason behind the...