Beijing – April 21, 2022 – Chinese martial artist, actor, film director and WildAid ambassador Wu Jing calls for protecting Siberian tigers and their habitats in WildAid’s newest campaign in partnership with the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park (NCTLNP) and China Wildlife Conservation Association. The campaign launched today across 20 cities in China to showcase the achievements made by the NCTLNP in restoring and protecting the ecosystem, cracking down on wildlife crime, and protecting flagship species such as the Siberian tiger.
The population of wild Siberian tigers in China has reached 50, nearly double the number from 2017 when the park was established. The park has significantly contributed to meeting China’s goal set by the 2010 Global Tiger Summit to double the population of wild tigers: In the previous Year of the Tiger, 2010, the first-ever international meeting for tiger conservation was convened and governments of the 13 tiger range countries endorsed the Global Tiger Recovery Program’s detailed action plans to strengthen reserves, improve habitats, crack down on poachers, and provide financial incentives to double the number of tigers by the next Year of the Tiger, 2022.
The latest global tiger population numbers have yet to be released, but through the establishment of the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, China has increased the number of tigers in its territory from 27 in 2017 to 50 today and it continues to grow. The park has recorded 10 newborn tiger cubs with a survival rate at over 50% in the past few years. “We found tigers developing from individuals to families, from wandering at the border to moving to the interior of China. This shows that these tigers recognize here as their home. They are coming back!” said Weiyao Kong of the Ecological Conservation Office of the NCTLNP.
As the top predators in their natural ecosystems, tigers depend on a complete and healthy food chain for successful reproduction. NCTLNP is also home to 397 species of wild vertebrates and more than 3,890 of wild plants. Its healthy natural ecosystem and rich biodiversity are the fundamental reasons for wild Siberian tigers to return.
Park rangers also play a crucial and indispensable role in conservation since they are on the frontlines combating illegal activities, as well as conducting scientific monitoring and park management by tracking changes in wildlife and the environment. There are more than 6,800 rangers in the NCTLNP guarding the 14,100-square-kilometer area day and night. The rangers’ job involves many risks stemming not only from the working environment, such as natural disasters and encountering aggressive wildlife, but also from combating illegal activities. Meanwhile, the time spent with family is very limited. A survey among 286 staff covering 153 nature reserves in mainland China shows 71% of respondents chose this job because of their love for nature and wildlife, and most of the rangers are satisfied with the nature of their work.
“This new PSA is telling a story of rangers rather than tigers, because we want to introduce these ordinary, yet great, people to the public while raising public awareness of the national park system and biodiversity conservation. We encourage people to look forward to the recovery of the tiger population,” said Chong Yu, Chief Representative of WildAid China.
Wu Jing, who plays a ranger in the PSA, said “During the shooting, I learned that many rangers who have guarded tigers for many years have never seen them face to face, but because of their dedication and efforts, tigers have returned. Although we are not on the frontline of conservation, we can still work together with them to protect tigers and their habitats by spreading this message.”
“2022 is the Year of the Tiger, and the second phase of the COP15 will be held in Kunming in the second half of this year. We expect this PSA can serve as a warm-up to the conference and raise public awareness of ecological conservation and the concept of ecological civilization, as well as promote the participation of all people in wildlife protection,” said Secretary-General Wu Minglu of the China Wildlife Conservation Association.
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WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect wildlife from illegal trade and other imminent threats. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $308 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too.
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