Hey, guess what trend we’re about to piggyback on? Here’s an account of how the WWF translocated a wild tiger in Nepal.
Wild tigers have become something of an anomaly on today’s planet. WWF scientists across the 13 countries where they still exist recently completed a census and put the number at about 3,200. Poaching for skins and aphrodisiacs is perhaps the biggest and most obvious problem. But we all have a role where this precipitous decline is concerned. Products that we consume or use each and every day—oils, energy bars, soaps, coffee, tea, biofuels, candy—have all torn up tiger habitat and have played a significant role in obliterating 95% of the 100,000 tigers that once roamed the wilds across Asia. That’s why I’m reaching out to a long list of early adopter companies looking to minimize the impact of raw material extraction on tiger habitat.
That number—3,200—is dangerously low. WWF, our conservation partners in the NGO community, governments, businesses and celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio had all recently drawn a line in the sand for tigers at a high-profile conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Saving the species, we’d decided, begins with knowing the whereabouts and behavior of all 3,200 of them. Each and every one. Nepal is leading the charge.
Our to-be-translocated tiger in Chitwan would get set up with a collar that would make it the envy of any well-respecting cat: a TrackTag and GPS Plus-2010. The TrackTag unit would take and record 60,000 locations (called fixes), one every 15 minutes on a single battery. The coupled GPS unit would send live data via satellite every six hours. In about 18 months the collar is designed to drop and send a signal so we can go pick it up, analyze the TrackTag data, and understand the roaming behavior of these big cats. The GPS signal and a little help from our friends at Google would give us something close to a live feed and assist us if the animal seemed to be heading in a direction that would mean trouble.
It’s long, but a good read. Oh, and #tigerblood #tigerblood #tigerblood. Ha ha ha, try and stop us! Meme central right here.