From Dr. John Robinson, WCS Chief Conservation Officer:
"There was clearly a loud roar from St. Petersburg this week on behalf of the last remaining tigers on our planet. All 13 range states, with the leadership of Prime Minister Putin, showed united political will to save this regal species. World leaders rarely find agreements at conferences and summits but this week the beloved tiger has proven to be a uniting force. And as we save the tiger, we have new hopes to save the world's biodiversity."
Monday, November 22
WCS's Dr. John Robinson, Chief Conservation Officer and Executive Vice President for Conservation and Science, announced that WCS will pledge $5 million to save the tiger over the next 12 months, as part of a larger contribution of $50 million over 10 years.
Here is an excerpt from Robinson’s statement at the Summit in St. Petersburg:
“Over the next 12 months, WCS will be putting close to $5 million onto the ground in Asia for tiger conservation. These are funds that are entrusted to us by bilateral government donors, especially the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and multilaterals like the Global Environmental Facility and the World Bank. Private individuals and private foundations are also making crucial commitments to tigers, such as those of the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation which has put tiger conservation as its highest priority, and collaborating organizations like Panthera. Together we will be investing a minimum of well over $50 million in the next 10 years before the next Year of the Tiger. And let me stress again that WCS will work to ensure that all of these investments are targeted at on-the-ground efforts in tiger range states.”
Monday, November 15
Next week, world leaders from more than a dozen tiger range states will gather in St. Petersburg, Russia for a “Tiger Summit.” Heads of the WCS delegation attending this unprecedented event say that saving the big cats’ “source sites” is the key to ensure that future conservation efforts will succeed.
WCS delegates John Robinson, Liz Bennett, and Joe Walston, authors of a published scientific study released in the September issue of PLoS Biology, have identified 42 source sites scattered across Asia that are now the last hope and greatest priority for the recovery of tigers. The source sites contain the majority of the world’s remaining breeding females—approximately 1,000 individual cats—and could potentially seed the recovery of tigers across wider landscapes.
WCS applauds Prime Minister Putin and the tiger range states for this unprecedented gathering, and is hopeful that participants will adopt the source site plan.
Joe Walston, Director of WCS-Asia, says, “While the scale of the challenge is enormous, the complexity of effective implementation is not. In the past, overly ambitious and complicated conservation efforts have failed to do the basics: prevent the hunting of tigers and their prey. With 70 percent of the world’s wild tigers in just six percent of their current range, efforts need to focus on securing these source sites as the number one priority for the species.”
Robinson, Walston, and Bennett calculated in their study the total required annual cost of effectively managing source sites to be $82 million, which includes the cost of law enforcement, wildlife monitoring, community involvement, and other factors. However, much of that is already being provided by range state governments themselves, supplemented by international support. The shortfall—$35 million—is needed to intensify proven methods of protection and monitoring on the ground.
Learn more about WCS's ambitious plan to save the tiger >>