How To Count Tigers

 

Tiger

 

By John Goodrich in Field Notes.

 

Recent claims that global numbers of wild tigers are increasing are puzzling. Tiger numbers have increased in a handful of sites—the Western Ghats in India, Chitwan in Nepal, and perhaps Huai Kha Khaeng in Thailand, to name a few. In these places, where governments are committed to delivering rigorous protection, as well as conducting comprehensive, science-based surveys, tiger recovery is happening, and there is data to prove it.

But, it is important to put these small victories into context. While it’s great news that the current data suggest there are more tigers in the wild than we thought previously, there is no scientific evidence of a global population increase—in most tiger sites, we’re just doing a better job of counting them.

 

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