The world's efforts to keep wild tigers from extinction are important for humans to counter the global threats of climate change and dwindling biodiversity, Russian Environmental and Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said on Sunday.
The minister spoke at an international forum on tiger conservation that had opened in St. Petersburg on November 21, the first high-level meeting to focus on measures to save the endangered species. The forum gathered participants from 13 countries that are the last refuge for tigers.
Trutnev said that the population of tigers had plummeted by 30 times in the past 100 years. "The population of tigers is being exhausted both quantitatively and qualitatively. As many as three out of eight tiger subspecies have become extinct."
According to World Wildlife Fund (WWF) figures, tiger numbers have dwindled from about 100,000 to the current 3,200 and continue to fall.
At the same time, WWF chief James Leape told the forum that national programs for tiger conservation should play a major role in keeping the endangered species from extinction while the international community should join efforts to fight tiger poaching.
ST. PETERSBURG, November 21 (RIA Novosti)