International Forum on Tiger Conservation

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In the last century, the worldwide population of tigers shrank by almost 97%. At the International Tiger Forum in St. Petersburg this week, countries with wild tigers are pledging to double their numbers by 2022. John Platt, writer of Scientific American's Extinction Countdown, discusses what some have called a last-ditch effort to save the species. 


John Platt

Comments [12]


There's a lot of movies specifically made for certain animal, like HAPPY FEET. It really makes most of us, especially younger generation have better knowledge to every creature in this world. We should also make a movie about tiger too.

Nov. 26 2010 10:35 PM
Maria from Manhattan

You can see Indian tiger expert Valmik Thapar speaking about the current situation for tiger conservation in India and discussing his newest book "The Tiger: Soul of India" on Indian TV here:

Nov. 24 2010 12:03 PM
Maria from Manhattan

One of the most exciting experiences I've ever had and later regretted is going to a Buddhist tiger temple in Thailand, near the River Kwai, about an hour and a half outside of Bangkok. (You can Google it and find their website easy enough on the web.)

When you get there, you are able to walk alongside some full grown tigers as they are led from their holding pens (which we did not see) down to a large open area in a stone canyon. As you do that, the staff will take your camera and snap pictures of you next to the tigers.

Once at the canyon, you can take more photos, and if you want, for an additional donation, you can be seated right next to several different tigers, and the staff will take more pictures of you, and you have a chance to actually stroke their fur (which is much coarser than I would have guessed from the look of it).

My friends and I did that, paid the extra to get close to the animals, but the first tiger they take you to, a very large male, you sit next to him and the head monk, and they place the tiger's massive head on your lap. After I stood up from this, and saw how they had to lift the tiger's head off my leg, I realized that the tiger was clearly drugged with something that left him awake but not alert enough to really respond or do anything (like one these date rape drugs you hear about). The other tigers were smaller (and all are on long, heavy duty type leashes) and much more alert, but my friends and I were very sad after exiting the canyon, when we realized that by participating in this experience and paying for it, we were paying for the exploitation of these regal, beautiful creatures.

The way the temple's website tells it is these animals have been donated by people who bought them as cubs and couldn't manage them after they grew, and cases like this. In the time since I was there (about 3 years), I've seen news reports online that in fact the temple is selling and buying tigers, which is so wrong compared to what they say they are doing.

For anyone else out there considering visiting this place, I would urge you to do some research beforehand and decide for yourself if you think what they are doing is in the best interest of the animals, or if you are just encouraging more harmful behavior.

Nov. 24 2010 11:57 AM

Wow, that comment was completely inappropriate, highly ethnocentric, and sadly predictable. It's not as if I'm not subjected to erectile dysfunction ads every 2 minutes on TV.

Nov. 24 2010 11:44 AM

Is there something we can do? Maybe start a program like "Adopt The Wild" or something where some of the thousands of Tigers that are left in the wild can be personaly funded by thousands of us.

Nov. 24 2010 11:42 AM

a planet without tigers?? a planet without blue fin tuna??? please also address the ecological role of these large predators!!!

Nov. 24 2010 11:40 AM
PBell from The Upper West Side

What are the effects on the eco system should the tigers become extinct?

Nov. 24 2010 11:39 AM

I'd like to start the folk belief that the penises of poachers are an aphrodisiac for tigers.

Nov. 24 2010 11:37 AM
dbmetzger from upper west side

Nations Gather to Save Tigers (news video)
In St. Petersburg, 13 nations are engaged in an unprecedented forum to find ways to double tiger numbers by 2022. Saving tigers means saving forests and biodiversity. Nations hope to find economically beneficial ways of increasing the tiger population.

Nov. 24 2010 11:37 AM
Matt from NJ

Q: is the Tiger reserve in the Kachin State (north Burma / Myanmar) truly viable or is this another hoax from this regime? I read it is the largest in the world...

Nov. 24 2010 11:36 AM

My grandfather lived in Sumatra during the colonial period. Often they had pet tigers at home until they grew and were released, in all 6 animals. It is sad that there may only be a few hundred left.

Nov. 24 2010 11:30 AM

total shame that an amazing predator that we have zero chance against in the wild without technology will be extinct because humanity acts like a virus and destroys all around us. man should be on the endangered species list instead.

Nov. 24 2010 10:32 AM

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