Tiger numbers dropped by more than 70 percent in last decade, says WWF

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Washington, January 27 (ANI): A new report from the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) has determined that the numbers of tigers in the wild in Southeast Asia have dropped by more than 70 percent in a little more than a decade.

According to a report by the National Geographic Society, the WWF says there were an estimated 12-hundred tigers in the Greater Mekong region during the last "Year of the Tiger" in 1998, while today, WWF estimates there are only about 350 there.

Wild tigers have even been wiped out in several reserves set up to protect them.

The Greater Mekong region includes China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

As for the reason for the drop, WWF says the tiger crisis has developed because of deliberate and large-scale illegal hunting of tigers for body parts, mostly for use in traditional medicine.

The WWF hopes to raise awareness and funds to stop the poaching.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger.

Later this month, ministers from 13 tiger range countries will meet in Thailand for a conference on tiger conservation.

It's hoped the governments will agree on future needs in protecting this big cat from extinction. (ANI)

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