Biodiversity: in Asia, the tiger trade is not slowing down: My planet

There were 100,000 tigers a century ago, less than 4,000 in the wild today. Photo: AFP

Bad news for the future of biodiversity on the planet: even though it’s been banned for decades, illegal international tiger trade and their by-products (skin, bones, teeth, etc.), remain the greatest direct threat to species survival.

According to the results of alarming research conducted by TRAFFIC and WWF and presented on September 28, 2016, on the occasion of The 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES, Tiger poaching and trade across Asia has not decreased. From 2000 to 2015, at least 1,755 tigers may be victimized, i.e. more than two animals per week.

Less than 4,000 tigers in the wild, alone

trade, tiger, asia, illegal trade, poaching, figuresIn 1900, the population of Panthera tigris reached 100,000 individuals in Asia: today there would be only about 3,900 tigers in the wild. Mainly responsible for the disappearance of the animal, tiger hunting, fueled in the 19th and 20th centuries by the title race but also by the commercial success of tiger skins and fur. Faced with warnings triggered by some countries, This hunt was banned worldwide in 1970. However, this measure is not enough to protect the animal from the threats that are lurking for it. Today, 46 years later, the tiger’s decline continues. In question, poaching for the illegal trade, and its habitat degradation.

Illegal trading fuel cobra farming

“This analysis provides concrete evidence that the illegal trade in tigers, as well as their parts and derivatives, persists and remains a major conservation concern. Despite repeated government pledges to close livestock farms in Asia, the number of these establishments is growing and playing an increasing role in fueling this illegal trade. » Steven Broad, CEO of TRAFFIC.

Reduces for skin and bones to be re-examined”, research TRAFFIC and WWF, Highlights 801 captures of tigers and their products recorded – skin and bones in particular – across Asia since 2000. Animals are increasingly captured from captivity: at least from 2012 to 2015 30% of tigers captured are from it. While the majority of arrests are reported by India, there is evidence that traffickers are also exploiting an identified trade route, from Thailand to Vietnam via Laos – three countries where the number of tiger farms has increased.

Huge tiger traffic in Thailand

trade, tiger, asia, illegal trade, poaching, figuresTherefore, the study highlights a a marked increase in the number of live tiger seizures in Thailand and Vietnam, directly related to the growth of tiger farms, with 17 animals captured between 2000 and 2004 and 186 in the past 4 years. Thailand, in particular, is home to a large tiger trade. The famous Tiger Templevisited by thousands of tourists every month, had to close last June, after discovering 70 carcasses of tiger cubs. About forty carcasses, about one to two days old when they died, were kept in the freezer, about thirty in jars filled with formaldehyde. DNA testing will show whether the animals were killed or died naturally.

“Tiger Wine”

Afterward dozens of skins of adult individuals, amulets, carved teeth were also seized, along with jars”tiger wine”. Famous in Chinese medicine for treating arthritis and rheumatism, this beverage, made from the bones of wild animals, is especially popular in China, where tigers are believed to be kept in captivity and abandoned. hungry for this sole purpose. Located about a hundred kilometers northwest of Bangkok, the Buddhist holy site has been targeted by police and associations for years, who then accuse the monks of selling animals and organs to Chinese customers. , especially to make medicine.

Cathy Lafon

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