A new awareness campaign urges to end illegal wildlife trade and protect tigers to protect our future
New Delhi – Culminating the Year of the Tiger 2022, and to celebrate 50 years of tiger conservation in India with the launch of Project Tiger in 1973, TRAFFIC and WWF-India have released a new poster campaign, "It's not just about one Tiger" on World Wildlife Day. The posters appeal to protect the tiger and end the illegal wildlife trade. They also highlight the linkages of protecting tigers to protecting ecosystems, culture and heritage, livelihoods and our future.
"The key message 'It's not just about one Tiger' reminds people that removing even a single tiger from the forest can negatively affect us. We must protect the tiger and mitigate the threats affecting this species to protect our future. As illegal wildlife trade is one of the most significant threats to the tiger, the posters appeal to people to reject tiger products and support tiger protection initiatives," said Dr Merwyn Fernandes, Coordinator of TRAFIC's India office.
“This World Wildlife Day, we also celebrate 50 years of CITES under the theme 'Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation'. This aligns well with TRAFFIC's and WWF-India's increasing efforts to strengthen collaboration with government authorities and agencies, research institutions, media, business entities, NGOs and civil society to end tiger poaching and illegal trade in tigers and their parts. These posters will help spread awareness on those lines", said Dr Dipankar Ghose, Director of the Wildlife & Habitats Programme, WWF-India.
Mr Ravi Singh, Secretary General and CEO, WWF-India, said, "India is home to the largest populations of wild tigers and has led tiger conservation over the years through Project Tiger and the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The newly released posters by TRAFFIC and WWF-India are a step to strengthen support for tiger conservation by highlighting the significant linkages between protecting tigers and protecting our future."
The first poster establishes the link between protecting the tiger and preserving our ecosystem. As an apex species, a wild tiger plays an essential role in maintaining the harmony of the forest ecosystem. With every tiger poached for the illegal wildlife trade, this equilibrium is disturbed due to an imbalance between the prey animals and the forest vegetation.
The second poster establishes the link between protecting the tiger and protecting rivers, as tiger habitats are rich treasures of rivers and water bodies. Protecting tiger habitats will protect river catchments. With every tiger poached for the illegal wildlife trade, our water security and collective well-being is endangered.
The third poster establishes the link between protecting the tiger and protecting our natural heritage. The tiger has a strong cultural significance in India, and its presence in the wild is a matter of national pride. With every tiger poached for illegal wildlife trade, we lose a part of our natural heritage.
The fourth poster establishes the link between protecting the tiger and protecting the livelihoods. The tiger keeps the forest thriving, and the forest provides people with resources and livelihood. With every tiger poached for the illegal wildlife trade, we risk the livelihood of forest-dependent communities.
The fifth poster establishes the link between protecting the tiger and protecting our future since the tiger helps secure our forest, ecosystem, water resources, livelihoods and natural heritage. With every tiger poached for the illegal wildlife trade, we risk losing our future.
Despite the highest protection status of tigers in India, they are often targeted for illegal wildlife trade, mainly destined for international markets. There is a demand for tiger derivatives such as skin, nails and claws as curios and bones for Asian traditional medicine. The tiger's prey is also hunted for bush meat, impacting the species' survival. Besides illegal wildlife trade, tigers are also threatened by habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict.
The new campaign posters by TRAFFIC and WWF-India will be distributed among key stakeholders and will be displayed across India to sensitise on issues related to tiger conservation and protection.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.