(WASHINGTON) -- The World Wildlife Fund is leading an urgent global campaign to try to double the number of tigers living in the wild. According to the organization, tigers in the wild could all be gone in a dozen or so years.
In the last century, the number of wild tigers throughout Asia has gone down from 100,000 to 3,200. Illegal hunting, shrinking habitats and the trade of tiger parts used in Oriental medicine have contributed to this decline.
“Demand for tiger parts and products is one of the leading threats to the continued survival of the species in the wild," says Leigh Henry, WWF senior policy officer for Species Conservation. "A nationwide database is essential to ensure that captive cats don’t end up in traditional folk medicine, tiger wine, or as somebody’s hearth rug or wall hanging,” Henry adds.
In November, a top level meeting is planned in Russia to discuss strategy. Key conservation bodies, along with representatives from a dozen or so countries where wild tigers can still be found, are expected to attend. Russian Prime Minister Putin is expected to play a leading role.
The goal of the meeting is to increase the number of tigers in the wild two-fold by 2022.
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