July 29th is International Tiger Day. The day was designated at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit of 2010, with the purpose of raising public awareness of, and support for, tiger conservation issues, especially around the need for a global system of protecting habitats. Tigers have lost 93% of their habitat in the last one hundred years, with estimated figures placing the wild tiger population worldwide today at around 3200 individuals.

Activities were held internationally to mark the day this year, with educational activities in zoos and schools, many of which were in communities in the thirteen Tiger range states. To mark GTD this year Interpol has renewed a pledge to support member countries in stopping wildlife crime with its Project Predator programme, holding a four day training course in Hanoi.

In 2010 the goal set in St Petersberg was to double the amount of tigers in the wild by 2022. With numbers still declining this is a critical time for wild tigers – 2022 is also the year given by the World Wildlife Federation for tiger extinction in the wild if global conservation measures were not meaningfully increased.

Not to forget –  “Remembering Tony and ALL Tigers on International Tiger Day”  http://freetonythetiger.wordpress.com

(Tiger image from Wikimedia Commons.)