Contributing Editor Dr. Jordan Schaul introduces Katie Cleary’s Peace 4 Animals organization, which has teamed up with Born Free USA to host a Star-Studded Red Carpet Gala—“Stars for Stripes”—in support of Bengal tiger conservation.
Two years ago the world celebrated Year of the Tiger. Hopefully it won’t be the last time we pay tribute to this majestic wildlife icon and largest of the big cat species.
Tiger conservation efforts are not new, but time is running out for them. A species of concern since the early 1970’s, tigers have prompted an interest from a number of conservation organizations. The issue of the vanishing wildlife icon was first addressed with the launch of Project Tiger in India—the country which regards tigers as a ‘natural treasure.’
During Year of the Tiger, scientists and leading conservationists met at the International Tiger Conservation Forum in Russia. At the ‘Tiger Summit,’ the thirteen countries in which tigers range, agreed to participate in a Global Tiger Recovery Program over a five year period. The meeting also generated $127 million dollars from range country governments in support of global tiger conservation initiatives.
One estimate of tigers in India from decades ago was around 40,000 individuals. There were, in fact, many fewer in as recent as the 1970’s when the Wildlife Protection Act was first enforced in India and the country’s tiger task force was deployed. Today there are actually less than 2500 Indian or Bengal tigers on the Indian Subcontinent (India and adjoining countries).
Although organizations instrumental in tiger conservation like the World Wildlife Fund, Save the Tiger Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Global Tiger Initiative, Panthera, Project Tiger have teamed up to save tigers, which are truly on the brink of extinction, we still need more help and more people involved to save this vanishing felid.
On November 10th Hollywood will make a contribution to tiger conservation when actress/model Katie Cleary’s Peace 4 Animals organization and Born Free USA team up to host the Star-Studded Red Carpet Gala “Stars for Stripes.”
The fundraiser will benefit the Tiger Research and Conservation Trust’s Satpuda Landscape Tiger Program, which protects vital tiger habitats in India, mitigates human-tiger conflicts, tackles wildlife crimes and monitors tiger ranging activity. This is important initiative currently supported by Born Free UK will not only benefit tigers, but many of India’s other carnivore species from leopards to sloth bears, which also inhabit the region and require vast tracks of undisturbed habitat to survive.