TRAFFIC: CONSUMERS PARTNERS IN WILDLIFE CRIME
Today, the Sumatran tiger is being sold Body part by body part into extinction! The Sumatran tiger is listed as Critically Endangered on IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, the highest category of threat before extinction in the wild. “We cannot afford to lose any more of these magnificent creatures”, says Jane Smart, Head of IUCN’s Species Programme.TRAFFIC INDIA, the wildlife trade monitoring network says end consumers are as much partners in wildlife crime as those who deal in or hunt protected species of wildlife. TRAFFIC says:
Tiger body parts, including canine teeth, claws, skin pieces, whiskers and bones, were on sale in 10 percent of the 326 retail outlets surveyed during 2006 in 28 cities and towns across Sumatra. Outlets included goldsmiths, souvenir and traditional Chinese medicine shops, and shops selling antique and precious stones.
HUMAN TIGER CONFLICTS
Dr Susan Lieberman, Director of WWF International’s Species Programme says this is an enforcement crisis.
Dr Tonny Soehartono, Director for Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Forestry of Republic of Indonesia. “We have been struggling with the issues of land use changes, habitat fragmentation, human-tiger conflicts and poverty in Sumatra. Land use changes and habitat fragmentation are driving the tiger closer to humans and thus creating human-tiger conflicts”.
HOW MANY LEFT?
The latest report was launched the day after India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) announced an official estimate of 1,411 tigers currently surviving in the wild in India; more than 50 percent down from the previous census estimate of 3,642 tigers in 2001-02.
My heart aches when I look into the face of this animal. I want to scream and stomp! Stop it! My voice is so tiny; and when I think about the hundreds of environmental and animal organization, the thousands of scientists and animal advocates, all our resources and decades of time: how does the Sumatran tiger find itself at extinction’s door?
We have yet to find a balance between human social and economic development and the natural world. I do not argue that we need to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. However, I wonder about the planning we make to achieve the reduction of poverty and improve peoples lives. The Sumatran tiger is one in a long list of animals at the brink of extinction in our quest for human social and economic development.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
What can I do in my tiny spec of the world to save this incredible creature? What can you do? If you have an answer, please share it here, so I can spread the news to as many little bloggers as possible! Of course, dollars to any of the organizations mentioned above will help. And I’ll continue to monitor this story.