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© Souvik Kundu / WWF

Tigers were the focus of one of WWF’s first projects in 1961 and since then tiger conservation has become one of the bedrocks of the organisation’s fight for a living planet.

WWF established the Tigers Alive Initiative in 2009 to support the global effort to double the number of tigers in the wild (known as TX2) by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022. This global commitment was crucial to address the severe and growing threats to tigers as wild populations had plummeted to as few as 3,200 in 2010, from roughly 100,000 at the start of the 1900s. 

Tigers are a conservation dependent species whose populations continue to be threatened by poaching driven by an illegal international demand for tiger parts and products, depletion of tiger prey, habitat loss, and conflict with people. The Tigers Alive Initiative is WWF’s commitment to secure a future for this awe inspiring big cat and the plethora of biodiversity and ecosystem services within tiger landscapes.

A stark divide in tiger population trends and pressures currently exists across the tiger’s range. In South Asia and East Asia tiger populations are increasing, while in Southeast Asia tiger populations continue to decline and face the threat of extinction. The Global Tiger Forum - an intergovernmental organisation - released an updated global tiger number in July 2023, estimating there to be 5,574 wild tigers across Asia. This new global population estimate is just shy of the 6,000 TX2 target but nonetheless is a huge achievement. The increase proves that with political will, protection, funding, and conservation efforts in partnership with local communities it’s possible to recover wildlife. It’s this success that gives us hope for the future of tigers and our planet. 

WWF's Tiger Conservation Strategy (2023-2034) has been crafted to address the current threats to tigers and seize opportunities to increase support and funding for tiger conservation.