Global tiger population rises first time since 1900


TORONTO, Canada – The global wild tiger population has increased for the first time since conservation efforts began in the 1960s, according to new data released today.

There are now about 3,890 wild tigers on the planet, up from 3,200 in 2010, according to new data released today by WWF and the Global Tiger Forum. The data comes from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the latest national tiger surveys. One-hundred years ago, there was an estimated 100,000 wild tigers worldwide.

In Nepal, the population has risen from 121 to 198 over five years, an increase of over 60 percent.

Reasons for the increase

The revised population number can be attributed to multiple factors, including increases in tiger populations in India, Russia, Nepal and Bhutan, improved surveys and enhanced protection of tigers and their habitats. Since 2010, WWF and the governments in the 13 countries with tiger populations have been working to double the wild tiger population to 6,400 by 2022 – the next Chinese year of the tiger. The goal is called Tx2.

Still cause for concern

While tiger numbers are increasing in some countries, they’re declining in others and have already disappeared from some. Cambodia on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 declared tigers extinct in that country, and announced plans to reintroduce two males and five or six females from elsewhere. Even if the global goal of 6,400 wild tigers is reached by 2022, the species will always require conservation efforts due to the irreversible habitat destruction.

Quote from Rinjan Shrestha, WWF-Canada’s lead specialist for Asian big cats

“The rise of global wild tiger numbers demonstrates positive momentum and great hope for the survival of a species that was on the brink of extinction. In Nepal, we’ve managed to stop the rapid decline of tigers over the past six years, but we still have a long way to go to meet the goal to double the number of wild tigers by 2022. With concrete, on-the-ground actions taken over the next six years, we can succeed.”

The numbers

Country Total April 2016 Source
Bangladesh 106 National Survey 2015
Bhutan 103 National Survey 2015
Cambodia 0 IUCN 2015
China >7 IUCN 2015
India 2226 National Survey 2014
Indonesia 371 IUCN 2015 (lower range)
Lao PDR 2 IUCN 2015
Malaysia 250 IUCN 2015 (lower range)
Myanmar No current data available* IUCN 2015
Nepal 198 National Survey 2013
Russia 433 National Survey 2015
Thailand 189 IUCN 2015 (lower range)
Vietnam <5 IUCN 2015 Global Total 3890 *The Myanmar Government figure is 85 tigers from a 2010 estimate. However as there is no recent survey data available, this figure has not been included.