Harrison Ford Endorses New Global Tiger Initiative
A new World Bank-led tiger conservation initiative will draw on the collective might of the world's nonprofits, governments, and local citizens to prevent tigers from completely "slipping away," experts announced today at a press conference with Indiana Jones actor Harrison Ford.
The predators have plummeted from 100,000 to 4,000 in the past century and now occupy only 7 percent of their original range.
The "urgent, immediate threat" of poaching continues to whittle down that number, Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank Group, told a press briefing at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoo in Washington, D.C.
The new initiative will take a hard look at existing projects in tiger habitats, review existing efforts to combat the trade in illegal tiger parts, and develop alternative funding for saving tigers, among other strategies.
In addition, a 2010 "Year of the Tiger" summit will bring together the many groups and individuals working to preserve the big cat.
"If wild tigers are to be saved, they must be seen