Wildlife Without Borders
Tiger Conservation Program
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Size: Tigers are the largest living member of the cat family;
they can be up to 12 feet in length and the largest ti gers can
weigh up to 650 pounds.
Lifespan: Esti mated 10-15 years.
Diet: Water buff alo, antelope, wild pigs, and sambar deer
comprise a signifi cant porti on of a ti ger’s diet.
Populati on: Only 3,000-4,500 ti gers are thought to survive in the wild compared to
an esti mated ti ger populati on of 100,000 in the early 1900’s.
Range: Historically, ti gers could be found between Turkey and the eastern shores of
Russia and China. Today, ti gers occupy only 7% of their original habitat (see country
list on map below).
Conservati on Status: All fi ve subspecies of ti ger surviving in the wild today are
endangered under the Endangered Species Act and the IUCN Red List. Tigers are also
protected under the Conventi on on Internati onal Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), of which the United States is a member.
Today ti gers inhabit only a fracti on
of the area they once occupied.
Global ti ger populati ons have
declined over the past 150 years.
For every 100 acres of historical
habitat, only 7 acres remain today.
Tigers are magnifi cent creatures: big, powerful, and impressive. Unfortunately,
wild ti gers, once abundant throughout Asia, now live only in small fragmented
groups – mostly in protected forests, refuges, and nati onal parks. The current
total populati on is esti mated at around 4,000 animals. Experts say that more
than 500 ti gers are killed each year.
In 1994, the United States Congress passed a law to establish the Rhinoceros
and Tiger Conservati on Fund to help protect, conserve, and manage these
amazing species. Since 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service has used this
fund to support anti -poaching initi ati ves, development of nature reserves,
wildlife surveys and monitoring, management of human-wildlife confl ict, public
awareness campaigns, and other conservati on eff orts related to ti ger survival.
Amur ti ger - also called Siberian ti ger (Panthera
ti gris altaica)
John and Karen Hollingsworth/USFWS
Conserving Tigers Across Borders
The 2009 Congressional appropriati on of $2.5 million for the Rhinoceros and
Tiger Conservati on Fund provided over $1.5 million for ti ger conservati on.
These funds were awarded via 33 grants across 13 countries (see chart on next
page). In additi on, the program leveraged over $2 million in matching funds
provided by grantees.
Where to Find Tigers
© Defenders of Wildlife
Countries with Tigers
Children celebrate a local ti ger festi val to
promote eduati on and awareness/USFWS
Teachers for Tigers – Asia/Russia
To help build support for ti ger conservati on
among young people, over 200 teachers
have brought interacti ve ti ger educati on
into the classroom by emphasizing learning
dramas, games, academic debates, art
contests (see image at right), mapping
exercises, and mock conferences. As a
result, this innovati ve conservati on
program is being adopted by schools in
the vicinity of ti ger habitat in India,
Bangladesh, and Russia.
How the Wildlife Without Borders Program is Helping Tigers:
Tiger Projects 2005-2009
Country # of Grants
Lao PDR 8
Multi -Country Grants
Total Grants 116
Funds Awarded $9.3M
Funds Leveraged $13.2M
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
International Aff airs
Division of International Conservation
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 100
Arlington, VA 22203
Smart Patrol – Thailand
Anti -poaching patrol teams tasked with
reducing illegal hunti ng of ti gers are using
a new concept in patrol management. It
combines GPS and GIS to bett er organize
informati on produced by patrols. Now
rangers can improve planning of future
patrols and react more quickly to threats.
This approach is being used in Thailand’s
premier ti ger habitats near the Burma
border (Huai Kha Khaeng and Thaung Yai
East and West Wildlife Sanctuaries).
Each ti ger has its own unique
patt ern of stripes on its face and
body, much like a fi ngerprint.
This allows scienti sts to identi fy
individual ti gers.
Tigers are territorial carnivores that
need large areas of habitat in order
to hunt suffi cient prey to survive.
An individual ti ger’s territory can
range from 8 square miles in parts
of Bangladesh to 385 square miles
(or more than 98,000 soccer fi elds!)
Cross-Border Partneship – Russia/China
Researchers have confi rmed viable
Siberian ti ger habitat exists on both
sides of the Russia-China border.
However, unti l recently, ti gers were
largely restricted to the Russian side
where they were less likely to encounter
poachers. Wildlife Without Borders has
supported removal of snares in China,
use of advanced patrol techniques, as
well as outreach to local communiti es
on ti ger conservati on. As the impact of
illegal hunti ng decreases, and new parks
are established to protect Siberian ti gers,
their populati on is expected to grow and
expand (see image below).
A Promise for the Future
By working across borders with scienti fi c
experts, local communiti es, conservati on
agegncies, non-profi t organizati ons, park
guards, teachers, and students, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service strives to protect
ti gers. As human populati ons increase,
confl icts between humans and ti gers will
become more frequent. With a strong
focus on working with people to conserve
ti gers, Wildlife Without Borders aims to
halt the decline in ti ger populati ons.
Using GPS to map ti ger acti vity at Thap Lan NP
Dr. Meenakshi Nagendran/USFWS
Siberian ti ger cub (Panthera ti gris altaica)
Art contests raise awareness among young
people in Southeast Asia/USFWS
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