Chinese President Xi Jinping gives wild tiger conservation a boost
On the 10th of March 2015, WWF congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping for raising the issue of wild tiger conservation at the Annual National People’s Congress & Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (NPC&CPPCC) in Beijing,
“We congratulate President Xi Jinping for putting wild tiger conservation on China’s highest political agenda. This gives us tremendous optimism not just for the Amur tiger but for wild tigers and our dwindling biodiversity globally.” - Marco Lambertini - Director General, WWF
PEOPLE.CN reported that during the NPC&CPPCC President Xi Jinping raised the issue of China’s Amur tigers during a session with the delegate from Jilin Province asking how many tigers there are now, what they ate and what their prospects were for long term survival. After being told there were 27 tigers in the Province, Xi Jinping expressed his approval, followed by a call to maintain practical action on the ground.
“This shows that China is paying attention to economic development and at the same time to environmental and ecosystem sustainability” - Sze Ping Lo - CEO, WWF China.
Amur tigers live in two Chinese Provinces: Jilin and Heilongjiang. The last official figure for Chinese Amur tigers was approximately 20, issued by the government in 2010. The majority of Amur tigers live in Russia where major conservation efforts have been undertaken, however recently released camera trap footage of a tigress and her cubs, 30 kilometres from the China/Russian border, showed that wild Amur tigers are breeding in China.
“This increase shows the great tiger conservation work China has been carrying out” - Shi Quanhua - Head of Asia Big Cats Programme, WWF China
Former Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, was among tiger country leaders that attended the Tiger Summit in St Petersburg, 2010. With as few as 3200 wild tigers remaining tiger countries pledged to double global tiger numbers, a goal known as Tx2.
At the Dhaka Conference in September 2014, tiger countries agreed to release a new global tiger population figure in 2016, the halfway point to Tx2.
This news comes on the back of China’s recent conservation success with pandas, the latest panda survey showing a 16.8% increase to 1864.