The demand for 'traditional medicine' is driving tigers to extinction. Tiger farming feeding this demand fosters the market for poaching, increasing the threat to tigers in the wild.
This captive population is estimated to be much higher than the remaining tigers in the wild, which are found across eleven countries. Each of these last remaining wild tigers is threatened by the illegal trade in their body parts – from their skins down to their bones – which are traded by criminals for profit on the black market.
Breeding tigers for profit
You might think tiger farming would be good news for tigers in the wild. It isn't. Tiger farms are commercial organisation that breed tigers for profit, and it sustains the very demand for tiger parts that leads to poaching of wild tigers.
The vast majority of tigers killed by poachers are trafficked illegally from countries such as India, Russia, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to countries currently permitting the operation of tiger farms within their borders.
Obstacle to protection and recovery
The current scale of commercial breeding operations on tiger farms is a significant obstacle to the protection and recovery of wild tiger populations. Tiger farms undermine enforcement efforts: The movement of tiger products to consumer markets, through legal or illegal means, complicates and thus undermines enforcement efforts aimed at distinguishing and stopping the trade in wild tiger products.
Tiger farms are not conservation breeding programs: Tiger farms do not benefit the conservation of wild tigers, and must be differentiated from legitimate, accredited, zoos, whose focus is conservation.
Conservation breeding, followed by the reintroduction of animals into the wild, is one of the most frequently cited conservation actions that have led to improvements in a species’ status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Conservation breeding programs, with conservation as their primary aim, are part of a coordinated tiger population recovery effort, and generally are used to: 1) address the causes of primary threats to a species, 2) offset the effects of threats, buy time, 3) and/or restore wild populations.
Tigers in Crisis says
If poaching continues at its current rate, researchers have predicted that many if not all the tiger clans will be wiped out in the near future.
Let's stop it.