Posted by: r.m. | November 10, 2010

tigers – a large hearted gentleman…

A flurry of news articles in the European press this morning.

Let’s start with the serious

Tigers.

As forests were slashed and hunting flourished, [Colonel] Corbett began to shoot tigers with film rather than with a rifle. “A tiger is a large-hearted gentleman with boundless courage and when he is exterminated – as exterminated he will be unless public opinion rallies to his support – India will be the poorer by having lost the finest of her fauna,” he wrote presciently in 1944.There are now just 3,200 tigers left in the wild. Three of the nine subspecies (the Bali, Javan and Caspian tigers) are extinct; a fourth, the South China, is also lost to the wild, with a few dozen specimens surviving in captivity.

On 21 November, heads of state and senior diplomats from 11 key countries will gather in St Petersburg, the first time world leaders have met to discuss the fate of just one species. Backed by the World Bank, the Tiger summit is billed as the last chance to save the tiger. There are fears, however, it could prove as ineffectual as Copenhagen’s climate change negotiations last year. The nation with the biggest tiger population, India, may refuse to send a high-level delegation; the Chinese, widely blamed for the tiger’s decline, are still distrusted by environmentalists; even Russia, where Vladimir Putin has made tiger preservation a matter of personal pride, has suffered a disastrous loss of tigers in recent years. Some conservationists feel the participants are remote bureaucrats with no experience of the on-the-ground realities. Others are refusing to go at all.”

Read the article in full here


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