On August 21, 2019, TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network revealed that nearly 2000 tigers were poached between 2000 and 2018 in India which is the home for more than half of the global tiger population (75%). This was reported in the 4th report of “Skin and Bones Unresolved: An Analysis of Tiger Seizures from 2000-2018”.
i. The report authored by Ramacandra Wong and KanithaKrishnasamy, estimated that 2,359 tigers were seized across 32 countries between 2000 and 2018 resulting in 1,142 seizure incidents. 95% seizures are recorded in the countries that are home to tigers.
ii. India tops Overall seizure category: India, which is the home of the world’s largest wild Tiger population, tops the countries among overall seizure category. It accounted for 40.5% of total incidents (463) and 26.5% of tigers seized (626).
iii. Outside tigers’ range:
56 seizures were recorded outside tigers’ range and is topped by Taiwan Province of China and Mexico where largest number of Tigers seized throughout the 19-year period(39 and 13 Tigers from 7 and 13 seizure incidents respectively) were reported.
iv. Hunt for skin:
single most frequently seized tiger parts are reported to be tiger skins whereon average, every year, almost 58 whole Tiger skin equivalents were seized.
i. Indonesia faced a four-fold increase in the yearly average seizure incidents in between 2015-2018.
ii. Over half (58%) of the tigers seized in Thailand and 30% in Vietnam were identified as originating from captive breeding facilities, with the largest proportion coming from a single seizure of 187 tigers in Thailand in 2016.
The Vietnamese authorities seized seven frozen tiger carcasses just few days before the World Tiger Day on 29th July 2019 from a suspect believed to have smuggled tigers from Lao PDR (People’s Democratic Republic).
iii. The result finally reported that only 3900 wild cats are left in the world.
Launch of the study:
The report was launched to coincide with the discussions around the trade in Tigers and other big cat species between world governments meeting in Geneva for the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora(CITES).
It is a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on the trade of wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity and sustainable development.
Headquarters – Cambridge, United Kingdom(UK).