Parts of at least 1,069 tigers have been seized in tiger range countries over the past decade, according to new analysis of tiger seizures carried out by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Reduced to Skin and Bones shows that from January 2000 to April 2010, parts of between 1,069 and 1,220 tigers were seized in 11 of the 13 tiger range countriesor an average of 104 to 119 animals per year.
Of the 11, India, China and Nepal ranked highest in the number of tiger part seizures, the report states, with India by far the highest number of tiger part seizures at 276, representing between 469 and 533 tigers. China, with 40, had the second highest number of seizures, or 116-124 tigers, and Nepal reported 39 seizures, or 113-130 tigers, according to the report.
"Given half the world's tigers live in India, it's no real surprise the country has the highest number of seizures, and while a high number of seizures could indicate high levels of trade or effective enforcement work, or a combination of both, it does highlight the nation's tigers are facing severe poaching pressure," said Pauline Verheij, joint TRAFFIC and WWF Tiger Trade Programme Manager and an author of the report.
"With parts of potentially more than 100 wild tigers actually seized each year, one can only speculate what the true numbers of animals are being plundered."
More enforcement needed to save wild tigers
Tiger parts reported in trade ranged from complete skins, skeletons and even whole animalslive and dead, through to bones, meat, claws, teeth, skulls, penises and other body parts.
They are used by a variety of cultures for decoration, in traditional medicines and even as good luck charms.
"First and foremost, the report demonstrates that illegal tiger trade continues despite considerable and repeated efforts to curtail it by many governments and organizations in both consumer and range countries," said Mike Baltz
|Contact: Ian Morrison|
World Wildlife Fund