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Conserving Asia habitats

Tuesday, 28th July 2015

It was lovely to receive an invitation from Haiths to contribute as a guest blogger to this page. But what has wild tiger conservation got to do with wild bird food and supplies?
Actually the link is straightforward. Both wild tigers and wild birds are the focus of unrelenting poaching across much of Asia. In Sumatra, where 21st Century Tiger fund tiger conservation through Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and the Kerinci Seblat National Park rangers, it is not just the tigers that are at risk. Threatened helmeted hornbills, whose calls once resounded across the region, are being hunted out of the park. Forests that were once loud with the cacophony of bird song are now quiet. Sumatra is a hub of the Indonesian bird trade with a recent report of over 200 different species on sale in the bird market of Medan. Both tigers and birds hold a certain status symbol to those that buy them, though of course, in almost all cases the tiger is already dead and dismembered.
 
Tiger

Tigers are a flagship umbrella species and protecting them in their existing natural habitat will protect not only the forests but also the other fauna and flora that inhabit them. But the land is threatened by extensive agriculture, industry and population pressure. Essential prey is at risk in this shrinking landscape from human consumption and extermination. Disease can pick off an isolated population of tigers in the same way as a determined gang of poachers. In recent history a small population of tigers in a protected reserve in India disappeared under the noses of the guards before anyone noticed anything was wrong.

But what can I do, you might ask. There is plenty – buy wood for your bird tables that has a FSC label so that you can clearly see that it has not contributed to deforestation. Learn how sustainable palm oil production can reduce the impact this popular vegetable oil has on tropical forests. Buy local produce, commit to recycling and reduced consumption. These things are easy and will make a difference if we all work together and lead the way. 29th July is Global Tiger Day, celebrating the 3,000-4,000 remaining tigers that are hanging on in the wild. We celebrate the lives of all those people dedicated to saving those tigers by protecting their habitats and prey, catching poachers and studying at a species level. By celebrating we raise awareness of the changes we can all make to our lives. Together we can make a difference.
 
Tiger Day

To find out more about wild tiger conservation with 21st Century Tiger and the projects we fund, please visit www.21stCenturyTiger.org

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