Endangered Tigers Fading Fast

Numbers plummet as WWF calls for quick action
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2008 8:51 AM CDT
This Nov. 2, 2007 file photo shows smoke billowing from a pulp and paper factory which is surrounded by palm oil plantations on Sumatra island, Indonesia. Fighting illegal logging has for decades mostly...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The World Wildlife Fund has warned that the world's tigers are in grave danger of extinction, reports the BBC. Experts believe tiger numbers have fallen in half over the last 25 years to as few as 3,500 worldwide, the WWF said. The South China tiger and the Sumatran tiger are in the most danger from habitat destruction and demand for tiger parts for use in Chinese medicine.

Tigers are also under threat in India, where numbers have dropped 60% since 2002. The WWF said that tiger numbers could be raised if proper action is taken quickly. Conservationists are already buying land tigers inhabit from governments. "In many ways the tiger stands at a crossroads between extinction and survival," a WWF director said. "Which path it takes is totally dependent on us."