The clocking is ticking toward extinction for tigers.
All subspecies of Panthera tigris are critically low and with the threats like habitat loss and poaching for the traditional medicines on the upswing, radical action must be taken.
And it must be taken now.
All measures taken to help tigers in the wild have failed so it’s time to try some things that will certainly (and have in some cases) ruffle feathers and might seem far-reaching.
The fact is with less than 3,000 tigers throughout all of Asia the far reach is the only one left.
The following are some ideas that need serious examination and thought from those interested in seeing this great cat saved from nonexistence.
#Island Tiger Preserves-There are enough small to medium uninhabited islands scattered throughout distant areas of the Pacific to create tiger preserves that would not be cost effective for poachers to hit. Many of these islands have populations of wild pigs and could be stocked with abundant deer. Problem tigers (human and livestock killers) could be recaptured and place on these islands with the idea of setting it with just enough male/female ratio to create a breeding population. In some cases that might be two tigers but if two can breed and raise young in the wild, then we’re gaining ground.
#Pick a Species-If several large conservation organizations could pick one subspecies of tiger and focus on a moon mission sized goal of purchasing X amount of acres of critical habitat and accompanying that with full time scientific staff and game wardens then we might be able to rally the troops enough to keep a solid gene pool going for a particular variety. Small efforts by large, well-funded organizations could go to one huge project with smaller groups taking up smaller needs and other varieties.
#Rewilding-It has already been tried with limited success but at some point rewilding captive tigers needs addressed. The Island Tiger Preserve project might be a way to accomplish this but if tiger viability will go beyond 2025, rewilding will have to be a part of the process.
#Zoo, Private & Sanctuary Cooperation-The captive gene pool of tigers must be analyzed from the biggest zoos to private owners. Cut all of the political mess out of the way and take personal opinion of sanctuary and personal ownership around the world and get real-the gene pool is getting narrower and captive populations could be part of the solution.
All things must be on the table if we are to save what I consider the most beautiful creature God created. Conservation means the wise use of resources and now the wisest thing we can do about tigers is throw preconceived notions out the window and make some things happen.
We’re a generation away from the old “lions, tigers and bears…” saying missing a key component.
Chester Moore, Jr.