"Clearly enforcement efforts to date are either ineffective or an insufficient deterrent," said Baltzer. "Not only must the risk of getting caught increase significantly, but seizures and arrests must also be followed up by swift prosecution and adequate sentencing, reflecting the seriousness of crimes against tigers.
The report also notes an apparent increasing number of seizures in Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand and Viet Nam. Some areas stand out in the report as hot spots in the illicit trade, including Nepal as a transit country, and the India-Myanmar, Malaysia-Thailand, Myanmar-China and the Russia-China borders. Additionally, many seizures take place within 50 km of protected tiger areas, such as those in the Western Ghats, Sundarbans and Terai Arc.
"But good enforcement alone will not solve the problem. To save tigers in the wild, concerted action is needed to reduce the demand for Tiger parts altogether in key countries in Asia," said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.
Enforcement efforts to date, the authors conclude "point to a lack of political will among those responsible at national and international levels for protecting tigers from illegal killing and trade."
"A paradigm shift in terms of commitment is needed and all stakeholders will have to join forces to create an intelligence-driven, well co-ordinated, trans-boundary and sustained push against forces driving one of the most legendary species on Earth to extinction," says the report.
In decline but hope remains
Wild tiger numbers are in steep decline, caused by a combination of poaching and illegal trade in the animals themselves, coupled with habitat loss and encroachment and excessive poaching of key prey species. A century ago there were around 100,000 wild Tigers; today the fi
|Contact: Ian Morrison|
World Wildlife Fund