NEW YORK (November 24, 2009) -- The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced today a report revealing that the last remaining population of Siberian tigers has likely declined significantly due to the rising tide of poaching and habitat loss.
WCS says the report will help inform Russian officials of what needs to be done to protect remaining populations of the world's biggest cat.
The report was released by the Siberian Tiger Monitoring Program, which is coordinated by WCS in association with Russian governmental and non-governmental organizations. It revealed that a recent tiger survey over a representative part of the tiger's range showed a 40 percent decline in numbers from a 12-year average.
Annual tiger surveys are conducted at 16 monitoring sites scattered across tiger range to act as an early warning system to detect changes in the tiger population. The monitoring area, which covers 9,000 square miles (23,555 square kilometers), represents 15-18 percent of the existing tiger habitat in Russia. Only 56 tigers were counted at these monitoring sites. Deep snows this past winter may have forced tigers to reduce the amount they traveled, making them less detectable, but the report notes a 4-year trend of decreasing numbers of tigers.
The scientists estimate that about 500 of these beasts remain.
I think an international effort should be made to collect many DNA samples from each threatened species so that even if the species go extinct in the wild the DNA could be studied, sequenced, and recorded. Then in some later century if human populations ever decrease enough to open up big areas for habitats then lost species could be reintroduced with the help of some embryo engineering.
Since the world's human population is headed toward over 9 billion people I believe we need to get realistic about the dismal prospects for habitat protection. If we admit to our future losses of species we'll have a better chance of organizing collection efforts to at least record the DNA sequences of these many species we are going to lose.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2009 November 29 07:42 PM Trends Extinction|