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PLoS One. 2018 Nov 8;13(11):e0207114. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207114. eCollection 2018.

Recovery planning towards doubling wild tiger Panthera tigris numbers: Detailing 18 recovery sites from across the range.

Author information

1
WWF-Tigers Alive Initiative, New Delhi, India.
2
WWF-India, New Delhi, India.
3
WWF-India, Assam, India.
4
WWF-Greater Mekong Program, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
5
WWF-Russia, Amur branch, Vladivostok, Russia.
6
WWF-Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia.
7
WWF-Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam.
8
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom.
9
WWF-Tigers Alive Initiative, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
10
WWF-Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand.
11
WWF-Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.
12
WWF-Indonesia, Central Sumatra Program, Pekanbaru, Riau, Indonesia.
13
WWF-India, Terai Arc Landscape Office, Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India.
14
WWF-Nepal, Programme Office, Kathmandu, Nepal.
15
WWF-India, Western Ghats Nilgiris Landscape Office, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
16
WWF-China, Changchun, Jilin Province, P. R. China.
17
WWF-India, Satpura Maikal Landscape Office, Mandla, Madhya Pradesh, India.
18
WWF-India, Satpura Maikal Landscape Office, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India.
19
WWF-India Terai Arc Landscape Office, Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, India.
20
WWF-India, Programme Office, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.
21
WWF-India, Satpura Maikal Landscape Office, Balaghat, Madhya Pradesh, India.
22
WWF-India, Western Ghats Nilgiris Landscape Office, Bhavanisagar, Tamil Nadu, India.
23
WWF-Bhutan, Program Office, Thimphu, Bhutan.
24
WWF-Tigers Alive Initiative, Jakarta, Indonesia.
25
WWF-Tigers Alive Initiative, Washington-D.C., United States of America.
26
WWF-Tigers Alive Initiative, Singapore.

Abstract

With less than 3200 wild tigers in 2010, the heads of 13 tiger-range countries committed to doubling the global population of wild tigers by 2022. This goal represents the highest level of ambition and commitment required to turn the tide for tigers in the wild. Yet, ensuring efficient and targeted implementation of conservation actions alongside systematic monitoring of progress towards this goal requires that we set site-specific recovery targets and timelines that are ecologically realistic. In this study, we assess the recovery potential of 18 sites identified under WWF's Tigers Alive Initiative. We delineated recovery systems comprising a source, recovery site, and support region, which need to be managed synergistically to meet these targets. By using the best available data on tiger and prey numbers, and adapting existing species recovery frameworks, we show that these sites, which currently support 165 (118-277) tigers, have the potential to harbour 585 (454-739) individuals. This would constitute a 15% increase in the global population and represent over a three-fold increase within these specific sites, on an average. However, it may not be realistic to achieve this target by 2022, since tiger recovery in 15 of these 18 sites is contingent on the initial recovery of prey populations, which is a slow process. We conclude that while sustained conservation efforts can yield significant recoveries, it is critical that we commit our resources to achieving the biologically realistic targets for these sites even if the timelines are extended.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have the following interests: Author KP was affiliated to PT. Royal Lestari Utama during the course of the study. There are no patents, products in development or marketed products to declare. This does not alter the authors' adherence to all the PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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