Prime ministers and wildlife experts from across the world will travel to Russia's second city of St. Petersburg to discuss urgent steps to be taken to preserve the tiger population during the Tiger Summit scheduled for September 14-18.
The summit, which is to take place during the Year of the Tiger, is part of the Global Tiger Initiative launched in 2008 to save the animal from extinction.
The tiger population has declined from 100,000 to just over 3,000 individuals over the past century. Poaching for fur and destruction of habitat have been major causes of the extinction of tigers. In some parts of the world, such as Transcaucasia, Central Asia and the islands of Bali and Java, the tiger has become extinct.
In the Soviet era, strict anti-poaching controls and proper conservation efforts led to a rise in the tiger population in Russia's Siberia to several hundred. Poaching again became a problem in the 1990s, when the country's economy collapsed and local hunters got access to a formerly sealed off lucrative Chinese market.
Currently, Russia is home to some 450 tigers living in the wild, which accounts for around 11% of the global population.
MOSCOW, June 18 (RIA Novosti)