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Updated: November 23, 2010 09:46 IST

Tigers could be extinct in 12 years

Irina Titova
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A tiger looks on from a camouflaged cover of strawgrass in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan. If proper protective measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, global wildlife experts told a “tiger summit” held in St. Petersburg on Sunday. File photo
AP A tiger looks on from a camouflaged cover of strawgrass in Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan. If proper protective measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, global wildlife experts told a “tiger summit” held in St. Petersburg on Sunday. File photo

Wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries fail to take quick action to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching, global wildlife experts told a “tiger summit” on November 21.

James Leape, Director General of the World Wildlife Fund, told the meeting in St. Petersburg that if the proper protective measures aren't taken, tigers may disappear by 2022, the next Chinese calendar year of the tiger. The summit approved a wide-ranging programme with the goal of doubling the world's tiger population in the wild by 2022 backed by governments of the 13 countries that still have tiger populations — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam and Russia.

The Global Tiger Recovery Programme estimates the countries will need about $350 million in outside funding in the first five years of the 12-year plan. The summit will be seeking donor commitments to help governments finance conservation measures.

The summit is driven by the Global Tiger Initiative which was launched two years ago by World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

About 30 per cent of the programme's cost would go toward suppressing the poaching of tigers and of the animals they prey on.

Russia's Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said that Russia and China will create a protected area for tigers alongside their border and pool resources to combat poaching. — AP

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