Protection of large-scale landscapes could triple Tiger numbers in Asia

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Washington, Jan 26 (ANI): Some of the world's leading conservation scientists have suggested that Asia's tiger reserves could support more than 10,000 wild tigers - 3 times the current number - if they are managed as large-scale landscapes that allow for connectivity between core breeding sites.

Co-authored by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) scientists, the study is the first assessment of the political commitment made by all 13 tiger range countries at November's historic tiger summit to double the tiger population across Asia by 2022.

The study finds the commitment is not only possible, but can be exceeded if a global effort is taken to ensure that core breeding reserves are maintained and connected via habitat corridors.

"In the midst of a crisis, it's tempting to circle the wagons and only protect a limited number of core protected areas, but we can and should do better," said Eric Dinerstein, Chief Scientist at WWF and a co-author of the study.

"We absolutely need to stop the bleeding, the poaching of tigers and their prey in core breeding areas, but we need to go much further and secure larger tiger landscapes before it is too late," Dinerstein said.

The authors found that the 20 priority tiger conservation landscapes with the highest probability of long-term tiger survival could support more than 10,500 tigers, including about 3,400 breeding females.

The study appeared in the current issue of Conservation Letters. (ANI)

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