Interpol has launched a new campaign to help save the world’s last wild tigers in the 13 Asian countries where they still exist. The project will link international wildlife officials with customs and law enforcement officers in the 13 nations to help stem poaching and smuggling of tiger parts for use in expensive traditional medicines.
Poaching and habitat fragmentation have caused Asia’s wild tiger population to decline from about 100,000 in 1900 to fewer than 3,500 today, according to Interpol.
“Having a force like Interpol working on this will give the effort a great boost,” Mike Baltzer, head of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative, said Thursday, a day after the campaign was unveiled at Interpol’s General Assembly meeting in Hanoi.
The project calls for connecting Asian law enforcement and customs officers with wildlife officials from the U.S., Britain, the World Bank and the Smithsonian Institution.
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