Tigers in the Spotlight
The world celebrates Global Tiger Day on July 29th to show our collective support for the magnificent yet endangered big cat.
This day was founded 7 years ago, when the 13 countries where wild tigers still roam, came together to commit to Tx2 – the global goal to double the number of wild tigers by the next Chinese Year of the Tiger in 2022.
We’ve rounded up some of the highlights on what has happened on the 7th Global Tiger Day!
Celebrities Megan Fox and Zachary Quinto “disappeared” on social media by removing their profile photos for a day – then reappeared with a tiger art selfie generated on 3890tigers.com to help raise awareness of the plight of wild tigers disappearing due to the illegal tiger trade.
This #3890tigers campaign is born out of a partnership between WWF and Tiger Beer. Similarly, WWF is partnering with Discovery to fund efforts to conserve nearly one million acres of protected habitat in India and Bhutan to protect wild tigers. As part of this alliance, well-known stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Heidi Klum, Adriana Lima, Freida Pinto, Mark Hamill and Ellen DeGeneres are among those who have voiced their support for this initiative; ProjectCAT (Conserving Acres for Tigers) on Global Tiger Day.
The smallest tigers in the world; Sumatran tigers are only found in Indonesia, and locals take a special pride in protecting them. Global Tiger Day celebrations span across 12 cities including Aceh, Jambi, Bengkulu, Lampung, Jakarta and Central Java, in collaboration with NGO partners, as well as UNDP and the Ministry of Forestry.
The passion for tigers came alive in the cities on 29 July, with hundreds of Indonesians running 10km to raise funds for tiger conservation and the general public stopping to pen down a personal message in a petition to save the Sumatran Tiger.
In 5 malls across Jakarta and Balikpapan, WWF-Indonesia also activated a unique #30claps campaign to get locals to start thinking about how we are all connected in this world. The idea stems from clapping hands instead of using disposable napkins to dry your hands, in order to reduce the use of paper and help protect rainforests where tigers live from being destroyed.
As the country where more than half of the world’s wild tigers are at now, Global Tiger Day is always a huge event! WWF-India coordinated 7 different events held in 7 key tiger landscapes this year.
Celebrations in Manas National Park at the North Bank landscape was a day-long event that Saturday, pointing to the important conservation being done in Manas by WWF-India and others while veterans rangers speaking with emotion about their park experiences.
A very important announcement was made amidst these celebrations too.
Lansdowne Forest Division in Uttarakhand is officially CA|TS Approved! Ever since it committed to achieve the global standards in tiger conservation set by the CA|TS accreditation scheme, Lansdowne has gone through rounds of checks to ensure it ticked all boxes to be considered a safe haven for tigers.
Malaysia announced the registration of Royal Belum State Park under CA|TS, Conservation Assured Tiger Standards, for effective management of endangered tigers as part of its vision towards zero poaching by 2020. Malaysia is now the first country in Southeast Asia to register for CA|TS, redoubling its commitment to double wild tigers by 2022.
The state of Perak announced this happy news on Global Tiger Day, where an awareness carnival was held for the public in Ipoh. This event was held together with WWF-Malaysia’s tiger conservation partner, Maybank Foundation. Activities held included a friendly futsal match between tiger conservation stakeholder agencies, a live interactive tiger conservation exhibition, games for children and lots of food. The event saw a huge turnout of the public and Maybank staff.
At Publika, Kuala Lumpur, the first year of WWF and Tiger Beer’s partnership culminated in a creative showcase where 20 renowned artists gathered to create tiger-inspired art pieces signifying the estimated 250 Malayan tigers left in the wild. There was also a silent auction for selected art pieces on display and proceeds from the auction were channeled to our conservation efforts.
WWF’s partnership with Tiger Beer saw a pop-up awareness event at Cambodia’s largest mall, Aeon Mall, to raise awareness on Asia’s snaring crisis. This critical message was delivered with the support of popular local singers and emphasized on the importance of protecting prey species in the Eastern Plains with the possibility that wild tigers may return to the forests in future.
Global Tiger Day in Thailand gave resolution to future tiger conservation with the signing of MoU on the conservation of tigers in Dong Phaya Yen – Khao Yai forests by The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
A celebratory event in Jilin province involving government officials, rangers, and youths showed the rest of the country that tiger conservation is a collective responsibility.
Earlier this month, the State Council has made major news by declaring the Heilongjiang Qixinglazi Amur Tiger National Nature Reserve opened on July 12, 2017.
A short film series by filmmaker Emmanuel Rondeau takes us through the landscapes of Bhutan in search of wild tigers. The adventure was a success with the capture of the first high-res photo of a tiger – at 11742 ft high and will be used to advocate for the protection of wildlife corridors the tigers were photographed at.
Bhutan’s Global Tiger Day event was held at the Royal Takin Preserve in Thimphu with the theme ‘Conserving prey base for tiger preservation’. The event included the formal inaugural of the Preserve office including open viewing deck and a pamphlet inviting membership on Friends of Bhutan Takin to support the preserve.
“Tiger is a top predator and ensuring their survival depends on a well-established prey-base. For the survival of the endangered cat, it requires the species it preys on to prosper in a shared habitat,” said officials of Bhutan’s nature conservation division.
The event was graced by the Speaker of the National Assembly Tshogpon Jigme Zangpo, Minister for Agriculture and Forests and senior government officers. The event called on the Bhutanese community to support tiger conservation given the tangible benefits it brings to human society by being the guardians of our forest ecosystem.
Nepal draws attention to the unsung heroes in tiger conservation with 4 short beautiful #iProtectTigers films, following the stories of an anti-poaching community patroller, a citizen scientist, a Chief Warden and a Lieutenant Colonel.
WWF-Nepal also launched the Nepal’s edition of Wild Wisdom Quiz – likely Asia’s biggest quiz on wildlife! The preliminary round kicked off on Global Tiger Day with 15 schools participating.
Great news in Bangladesh! The government announces a doubling of the size of its protected mangrove wildlife sanctuary, in a bid to protect its endangered Bengal tigers.
Hong Kong proves that anyone can be a tiger protector – from six-year-olds to grandmothers to celebrities! WWF-Hong Kong kickstarted the “Be a Tiger Ranger” roadshow on Global Tiger Day, inviting the public to share their passion for protecting these big cats with the world through VR film experiences, hand painting activities and more!
Street artist Judith de Leeuw (‘lion’ in Dutch) has started painting a large wall mural of a tiger in the heart of Amsterdam on 29 July to create talking points about the tiger around the city.
Earlier this month, Dutch fashion designer Bas Kosters, also launched a new collection of 3,900 limited edition T-shirts to raise awareness for the endangered tigers in collaboration with WWF. The collection was well-received by the public, selling out quickly after its launch at the opening show of Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Canada showed that the big cats matter to them as a video made by WWF-Canada on the threats tiger faced went viral. The video reached 598,317 people – that’s more than half a million!
13 Polish influencers and celebrities shared photos of them with WWF tiger plushies to stress the situation of tigers and call for the public to support the Tx2 campaign to double the number of wild tigers. Tigers were put on a spotlight by social media on the 29th July.
Our colleagues braved the mud at a family friendly 3-day music festival, Kendal Calling, to talk to the excited crowd about their iProtectTiger campaign.
Their films which introduced tiger protectors in different countries were screened for the festival-goers to inspire people to take action for wild tigers, wherever they are.
Meanwhile, the UK team also took over the MBNA Thames Clipper boats in London to encourage people to support wild tigers as they travel across the famous River Thames in London.
The same #iProtectTigers films are shown across the country on outdoor screens as well as in cinemas during July.
Finally, WWF is also invited to the National Cardiff Museum’s new tiger exhibition to talk about WWF’s work and tiger conservation. The team took their tiger Virtual Reality (VR) experience along, which went down a storm.