Collaborating to Save Tigers

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Camera trap technology helps identify key habitats tigers use to hunt and breed in the Taman Negara region. Tracked with modern software, the data allow rangers and researchers to map routes for effective anti-poaching patrols. (Credit: Ruben Clements/Rimba)

Woodland Park Zoo has joined forces with Panthera to continue the battle to save tigers in the wild. The group will focus on saving tigers in Malaysia, where habitat loss and poachers have decimated the population. The ten year project will provide hands-on training and financial assistance to help save these tigers.

Learn more about Woodland Park Zoo here.

Learn more about Panthera.

Malayan Tiger Cubs at Busch Gardens

Malayan tiger cub at Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa welcomed three Malayan tiger cubs on March 31st. There were two males and one female, each weighing around 6 pounds.

These births were part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Malayan tiger births are rare in captive breeding programs. There was only one successful birth in 2012, and this is the first Malayan tiger birth at Busch Gardens Tampa. The animal care team is monitoring the cubs and parents around the clock.

Malayan tiger cub at Busch Gardens

According to the IUCN Redlist, Malayan tigers are considered endangered in the wild. There are only 500 Malayan tigers living in their native habitat, which is the southern tip of Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. Threats include habitat fragmentation and poaching.

To learn more about the Malayan tiger cubs, see BuschGardensTampaBlog.com.

Tiger Diaries: Sumatran Tigers at the National Zoo

Two Sumatran tigers

Kavi and Damai are the National Zoo’s resident Sumatran tigers.

Will Kavi and Damai hit it off? Will we see babies in the near future? The Tiger Diaries takes you behind the scenes at the National Zoo, following the lives of their resident Sumatran tigers, Kavi and Damai.

In the wild, Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Only 400 Sumatran tigers exist today. The National Zoo’s program to breed Sumatran tigers plays a major role in preserving this rare species.

Learn more at the National Zoo website.

Help Big Cats While Trick-or-Treating

Leopard grooms cub

A mother leopard grooms her cub. You can help big cats like these with "Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats".

This Halloween, you can make the holiday extra special by helping big cats! National Geographic has organized a campaign called Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats, which encourages kids to collect donations for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative as they trick-or-treat.

According to Alexander Moen, VP of Explorer Programs at the National Geographic Society, “The Big Cats Initiative is working with scientists and conservationists around the world to halt the decline of these iconic animals. By supporting their work, together we can ensure that future generations won’t talk about big cats the way we now talk about dinosaurs.”

Free Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats collection boxes are available at Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide, participating schools, National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at causeanuproar.org, where people can request boxes sent directly to homes, schools, clubs and other community locations.

Everyone who participates is eligible to receive a thank-you gift, including magazine subscriptions, apparel and digital downloads (eligibility based on the amount of funds submitted by November 30, 2011). Detailed information on gifts and how to participate can be found at www.causeanuproar.org.

Tiger Cubs

Two zoos have news about tiger cubs!

Sumatran tiger cub at Oklahoma City Zoo

Sumatran tiger cub at Oklahoma City Zoo. (Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman and Newsok)

The Oklahoma City Zoo recently put its four Sumatran tiger cubs, which were born on July 9, out for public display. According to Oklahoma City Zoo’s Mammal Curator Laura Bottaro, “These beautiful cats are a critically endangered species and every birth enables us to further the health and conservation of the species.” In the wild, Sumatran tigers live on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and are the smallest subspecies of tiger. To learn more about the Sumatran tiger cubs, see the Oklahoma City Zoo website.

The Toledo Zoo is proud to announce the arrival of two Amur tiger cubs, which were born September 26. They will go on public display in January. Amur tigers (aka Siberian tigers) are endangered and reside in a small region in southeast Russia. They are also located in small numbers in China and North Korea. Amur tigers are the largest subspecies of tiger. To learn more about Amur tigers, see Animal Fact Guide’s article, Siberian Tiger. To learn more about the new tiger cubs, see the Toledo Zoo website.

National Geographic Channel’s Expedition Week

Bengal Tiger

A Bengal Tiger caught on a camera trap (India). (Photo Credit: © Steve Winter/Panthera)

From April 3-9, National Geographic Channel is hosting Expedition Week, which features 13 new programs over 7 days taking viewers to never before-seen-places all over the world.

Two of the programs feature stories about tigers:

LOST LAND OF THE TIGER (Friday, April 8 at 9PM ET/PT)

Go in search of an undiscovered tiger population rumored to be hidden in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.  This pristine country of lush forests, clear rivers and icy mountains could hold the key to safeguarding the future for these big cats.  But first, the team must trek across Bhutan’s wildest terrain and face its extreme weather — pushing the expedition to its very brink.  With cameras strategically placed, the team is closing in on capturing key evidence of the tigers said to be living here.

Watch a clip of the team reviewing footage from the camera traps they set around Bhutan:

TIGER MAN (Friday, April 8 at 10 PM ET/PT)
A seemingly impossible dream: to create a new population of wild tigers outside their natural habitat. One man, John Varty, did just that. Starting with two young, zoo-born tigers, Varty now has more than 15 tigers at his Tiger Canyons reserve, and has used ever-present cameras to document two years of their lives. Whether mating, birthing or hunting, Varty shows these magnificent tigers with remarkable, “up close and personal” detail. His methods can be controversial, but it’s a gripping, intimate look at tigers as never seen before.

Watch as one of the tigers, Shadow, gives birth:

Catch these stories and more April 3-9 on the National Geographic Channel.

Tiger Summit Discusses the Future of Wild Tigers

Politicians and wildlife conservation organizations are currently convening to discuss the dire state of wild tiger populations.  Experts have concluded that only 3,200 tigers are left in the wild.  This is a stark contrast to the 100,000 tigers that once roamed the world a century ago.  Participants of the tiger summit are proposing plans to double tiger populations by the year 2022, which is the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

The plan includes measures to:

  • Cut down on poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade of tigers and their body parts
  • Conserve tiger habitat, including their breeding grounds
  • Create incentives for local communities to become part of the tiger conservation effort

To ensure success and bolster tiger populations, the 13 countries that still have tigers would have to raise $350 million dollars for the first 5 years of the plan, and they would would need the cooperation and support of international organizations and other governments.

Amur tiger on the prowl.

Can the tiger summit save wild tigers?


To learn more about the tiger summit, visit: Bloomberg News.

For information about the Siberian or Amur tiger, see Animal Fact Guide’s article: Siberian Tiger.

Live Tiger Found in Suitcase

Airport staff in Thailand found a live tiger cub packed into a suitcase filled with stuffed animals. The staff noticed what looked like a live cat when x-raying the suitcase. When they opened the suitcase to investigate they found the two-month-old cub. The cub had been sedated.

For the whole story, visit CNN.com.

Amur Tiger Cubs at the Denver Zoo

The Denver Zoo announced that their four new Amur tiger cubs have a clean bill of health. Born May 31st, the quadruplet cubs were the first of this endangered species to be born at the zoo since 2003.

Amur tigers (or Siberian tigers) are the largest cats in the world. They reside in a small region in the southeast region Russia and are also located in small numbers in China and North Korea. There are only around 400 Amur tigers left in the wild, and they are considered endangered by IUCN’s Red List. One cause of their dwindling population is loss of habitat due to deforestation. In addition, Amur tigers are poached, or illegally hunted, for their fur and for body parts that are used for traditional medicines.

Learn more about the new tiger cubs at the Denver Zoo website.

Learn more about Amur tigers by reading Animal Fact Guide’s article: Siberian Tiger.

Amur tiger cubs at the Denver Zoo