Creating a strong voice for wild tigers
Since it was launched by David Shepherd in 2011 DSWF’s TigerTime campaign has gone from strength to strength, writes campaign manager, Vicky Flynn.
Our goal was to help raise awareness of the plight of the 3,000 wild tigers left on earth, to increase funding to DSWF’s already established tiger conservation work in India, Thailand and Russia and to campaign for an end to the trade in tiger parts from all sources. The aim was to engage new audiences through social media – something that was fairly new to DSWF in 2011 – and after a slow build up the last twelve months have brought a cascade of success.
In March 2014, the TigerTime Facebook page had 32,000 followers – today it exceeds 500,000. Twitter followers are close to 32,000 and over 334,000 people have lent their name to our ban tiger trade petition. With all our celebrity supporters activated and tweeting the campaign can reach 18 million people – a huge reach for tigers!
This growth has attracted much support and working in collaboration with photographers, writers, artists, supporters and other NGOs, TigerTime is pushing to raise funds and to keep tigers on the international agenda in 2015/16. While the attention of the world is focussed on the alarming depletion of elephant and rhino populations, the surviving 3,000 wild tigers are receiving less of the limelight making 2015 an important year for the tiger.
Following intense discussions at CITES in July 2014 some very specific recommendations on tigers were adopted:
- Countries are to ensure that their legislation prohibits domestic trade, including in derivatives of captive bred tigers
- Those who are currently trading are required to report the scale of that trade
- Countries must report on the volume of existing stockpiles
- Countries must destroy the bodies of deceased captive tigers
Between now and the next meeting in January 2016 progress will be assessed by a working group being chaired by China.
TigerTime wants to demonstrate how important we feel these recommendations are to the survival of the tiger and our aim is to deliver over half a million signatures to the Chinese Embassy in London in October 2015 respectfully requesting that China, in its key role as chair of the inter-sessional working group, guarantees the compliance of CITES members to all of these recommendations. Without that compliance, the future of the wild tiger remains uncertain.
You can be part of it. We already have over 300,000 signatories but need more. You can help us reach the 500,000 mark by signing up at www.bantigertrade.com and asking your friends and family to do the same.
As the uncontrolled breeding and trade in tigers and tiger derivatives grows in China and Laos your voice counts. (Sign up at www.bantigertrade.com)
There is a saying that if you didn’t fight for what you want, don’t cry for what you’ve lost – please help us fight for the tiger before it’s too late.
Thank you for all your support to date – please tell your family and friends and join us in saving wild tigers.