January 20, 2010

China’s Wild Tigers Facing Extinction

The World Wildlife Fund has released a statement saying that they estimate China's wild tiger population is down to just 50 as the species faces extinction due to loss of habitat and poaching.

The SFA says around 20 Siberian tigers remain in China's northeast, 20 Bengal tigers in Tibet, and 10 Indochinese tigers in the southwest of the nation.

The WWF believes there are only about 3,200 of the animals left worldwide.

Zhu Chunquan told AFP, "If there are no urgent measures taken, there is a high risk that the wild tiger will go extinct."

He believes that if the poaching continues, tigers will be completely extinct in about 30 years.

"As for the South China tiger, after the late 1970s, there has been no concrete evidence to show that there are any left," Zhu added.

Zhu urged the Chinese government to raise awareness of the issue, by pushing people not to hunt the tiger's typical prey, which include wild boar and deer.

Authorities in the Asian nation have in the past meted out heavy punishment to those found guilty of killing the endangered species.

In December, a man who shot dead an Indochinese tiger was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined 580,000 yuan (85,000 dollars).

China has banned international trade in tiger bones but illegal poaching remains a huge problem.


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