About 100,000 tigers lived in Asia at the beginning of the 20th century. Then hunting and habitat destruction caused their numbers to drop dramatically to a few thousand animals. But for the first time in decades, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the NGO Panthera have reported a significant increase in the population of big cats.: Since 2015, the average animal population has increased from 3,200 to 4,500 animals – an increase of about 40 percent.
Part of this increase is due to the widespread use of robotic wildlife cameras, which are now used in remote areas to detect certain species. But at the same time, increased protection measures ensured that tigers were able to recover through offspring. These efforts had a particular impact in India and Nepal and caused an intense growth of the native Bengal tigers there.
The population of the Siberian tiger in eastern Russia is also stable; Populations of the subspecies are also increasing along the border with China and in the northeast of the country. The situation is worse for other subspecies, especially in Southeast Asia: the Indochinese, South China and Malay tigers are still endangered and have disappeared from various countries in the region. The same applies to the Sumatran tiger, whose habitat on the Indonesian island continues to shrink. Three subspecies are already extinct.
However, this classification is controversial: some experts assume that there are only two subspecies of tigers: island and mainland subspecies, which, in turn, are divided into northern and southern populations. Despite the growth, the group of tiger nations missed one goal: in 2010 they agreed to number 6,000 tigers by 2022.
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