Wild Tiger Numbers Rising For First Time In Years

Wild Tiger Numbers Rising For First Time In Years

The number of tigers in the wild has increased for the first time after decades of struggle for the species, according to conservationists.

The latest estimate is that there are at least 3,890 wild tigers in the world, up from the 2010 figure of "as few as 3,200".

This growth is due to increases in the tiger populations of India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan, better surveying methods and conservation efforts, according to wildlife charity WWF.

Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said: "For the first time after decades of constant decline, tiger numbers are on the rise.

"This offers us great hope and shows that we can save species and their habitats when governments, local communities and conservationists work together."

The news comes amid preparations for a meeting in India about tiger conservation.

:: Tigers Could Make A Roaring Comeback, Say Experts

The meeting will assess the halfway point of the 12-year Tx2 plan, which encourages countries with tigers to double the population by 2022.

Michael Baltzer, leader of WWF's Tx2 tiger initiative, said: "The global decline has been halted but there is still no safe place for tigers.

"South East Asia, in particular, is at imminent risk of losing its tigers if these governments do not take action immediately."

Last week, Sky News reported that Thai authorities are hopeful of continuing to increase the number of tigers at one of their national parks: Huai Kha Khaeng.

After 10 years of studies using hidden motion-triggered cameras to track individual animals, researchers at the park found its population of wild Indo-Chinese tigers had increased from around 20 in 2006 to more than 50 today.

WWF says countries need to know how many tigers they have and the threats they face in order to protect them.

Other environmental groups have called for the end of some countries' tiger farming - killing the endangered animal for its skin and parts for medicine.

But tribal rights organisation Survival International, accuse countries such as India of forcing indigenous people to leave their homes in areas designated as tiger reserves.