South Asia has experienced a long period of robust economic growth, averaging 6% a year over the past 20 years. This strong growth has translated into declining poverty and impressive improvements in human development.
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Tigers are the religious and cultural
icons of Asia, serve as the national animal in some
countries, and figure prominently on the flags of others.
Their charismatic... Show More + appeal is used to sell everything from
gasoline to sporting goods and confectionary. Yet,
paradoxically, wild tigers are on the brink of extinction.
Tigers are an umbrella species and symbolize the plight of
wildlife across Asia. Poised as they are at the top of the
ecosystem, loss of tigers indicates ecosystems under stress.
Within a century wild tiger numbers have plummeted from over
100,000 to below 4,000 animals. The existing wild
populations inhabit fragmented and isolated patches of land
constituting a meager 7 percent of their historic range. If
current trends persist, tigers are likely to be the first
species of large predator to vanish in historic times. Tiger
subspecies and populations have already disappeared from
Java, Bali, and Central Asia and throughout much of China.
The only region in which populations have recovered is the
Russian Far East, where habitats are secure and poaching
pressures are modest. The challenge of saving wild tigers
has become a global one and calls for a global solution and
commitment. The successful conservation of wild tigers and
the natural capital that sustains them are among the key
indicators of sustainable development and require greater
global resources and attention. Show Less -