WWF's Impact on Tiger Recovery 2010-2022

Posted on 03 March 2022

From a population of perhaps 100,000 a century ago, wild tiger numbers hit an all-time low — as few as 3,200 in 2010. That same year, all 13 tiger range governments came together for the first time at the St. Petersburg Summit where they committed to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, the next lunar Year of the Tiger.

The formation of the Global Tiger Initiative and subsequent 2010 Tiger Summit represents one of the greatest degrees of political will ever mustered for the protection of a single species — as well as a clear turning point in the history of tiger conservation. In the decade since that event and adoption of the Global Tiger Recovery Plan, there is evidence that a centuries-long trend of wild tiger decline has finally been reversed — a rare and hard-fought conservation success story. WWF has driven towards the TX2 goal for the last decade, supporting the 13 tiger range country governments to act and fulfill their commitments with partnerships, policy advice, and collaborative solutions.

Over the last 12 years, WWF has accelerated its investments and interventions to support range state commitments and the comeback of this incredible species. WWF has invested or leveraged over US $200m across 10 offices, 14 landscapes, and 50 heartlands — those areas identified as having the highest potential for tiger recovery. However, despite the positive trends in wild tiger numbers, it is important to acknowledge that these gains are fragile and have not been uniform across Asia’s sub-regions. While globally tiger numbers may be on the rise, tiger range has continued to decline and tigers today are restricted to less than 5 per cent of their historic range. As we reach the next Year of the Tiger in 2022, there is a pressing need not only to continue the global tiger recovery efforts, but also to strengthen  all necessary actions to achieve long-lasting tiger conservation.

This report highlights the progress made since 2010. We have come so far, yet there is still much work to be done.