Tiger conservation to take centre stage in 2010

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2010: Time to save the big cats
London, Jan 5: With the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) ranking Tiger on the top of the most endangered species list, the campaigns to save the big cat is set to take the centre stage in 2010.

WWF chose to give the brutal facts on the plight of the species in its new year message.

An estimated 3,200 tigers are left in the wild, most of which are in India. They face threats from poachers, destruction of habitat and climate change, WWF said.

"There is particular importance in selecting a creature such as the tiger for special attention. To save the tiger, we have to save its habitat - which is also home to many other threatened species," said Diane Walkington, head of species programme for the WWF in Britain.

"This year will also be the Chinese Year of the Tiger, and so we have put it at the top of our list. It will have special iconic importance," she added.

The wildlife charity hopes to brings in China's participation in the battle to save the Asian cats.

There is a lot of demand or tiger body parts from China, due to the country's belief that the products made from these parts have healing properties.

This has led to increased poaching especially in India.

The tiger population has decreased by 40 per cent in the past decade, the message informed.

Taking stock of all these realities, WWF also hopes to win the support of politicians and governments to help conserve the majestic cats.

WWF's top 10 endangered species list:

  1. Tiger
  2. Polar Bear
  3. Pacific Walrus
  4. Magellanic Penguin
  5. Leatherback Turtle
  6. Bluefin Tuna
  7. Mountain Gorilla
  8. Monarch Butterfly
  9. Javanese Rhino
  10. Giant Panda

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