21st Century Tiger raises funds for wild tiger conservation projects. It was formed in 1997 as a partnership between the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Global Tiger Patrol and Tusk Force (now defunct) so that the three groups could collaborate, rather than compete, in raising money for tigers in the UK. Based in offices provided by ZSL and with administration salary funded by a sponsor, it is able to spend 100% of funds raised on tiger projects. As of 2007, 21st Century Tiger is one of the top six contributors to tiger conservation worldwide (IUCN Cat Projects Database, unpubl.) and since its inception it has provided over a million pounds to a total of 67 tiger projects in seven countries.
21st Century Tiger was established in 1997 and formally launched at the Tigers 2000 meeting at ZSL in 1997 by John Gummer, the then UK Minister for the Environment . Since then it has assisted the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(DEFRA) in channelling funds for tiger conservation to effective projects in tiger range . Other support has come from members of the public, businesses, and notably from zoos, particularly in Europe
Realising the potential fundraising abilities of the European Zoo community, between 2002 and 2004 the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Tiger Campaign in European zoos raised over three-quarters of a million euros which was channelled through 21st Century Tiger. Over 130 zoos in 24 countries took part in the campaign, from Finland to France and from Ireland to Russia.
ARAZPA, the association of Australasian zoos, launched a parallel tiger campaign during 2003, also using 21st Century Tiger to channel the funds and raised more than AU$100,000. ARAZPA zoos hold only the Sumatran tiger, unlike European zoos which have both Amur and Sumatran, and their efforts continue to be focused on projects in Sumatra .
Public support for 21st Century Tiger complements the work of the zoo communities through successive fundraising appeals, and a percentage of the sales of the book Tiger Animal in Art by Joanna Skipwith A current appeal has been launched to fund the rebuilding of Fauna and Flora International's (FFI) Sumatran project following the September 2007 Sumatra earthquakes.
Since its inception, 21st Century Tiger has funded a total of 67 projects, distributing over a million pounds and supporting projects in seven countries - India
.The projects cover a wide spectrum of requirements for tiger conservation, including training for wildlife rangers in the application of wildlife law, jungle survival and identification of endangered species, support for anti-poaching units which deal directly with poachers, uncover networks of illegal trading, and even advise in cases of human-tiger conflict. In Russia and Indonesia scientific research is also funded, including studies of tiger home ranges and tiger prey densities, and of methods for limiting the habitat damage caused by economic development. Comprehensive and thorough research provides a sound scientific basis for conservation planning and is an essential part of any conservation programme. 21st Century Tiger also funds education and awareness raising programmes within tiger range countries; vital for ensuring sustainable local support for wildlife conservation.
21st Century Tiger support a range of organisations from the internationally known Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to small, focused local groups such as Phoenix in Russia. All projects submitted for funding are rigorously examined by a panel of international experts. The projects must have sound practical scientific and conservation value and use local staff wherever possible. Regular reports of findings and work carried out are essential for both accounting purposes and knowledge sharing and can be found on the 21st Century Tiger website.
International Tiger Coalition
21st Century Tiger is a member of the International Tiger Coalition, an alliance of 41 organizations representing more than 100 organizations across the globe, united under the common aim of stopping trade in tiger parts and products from all sources. This unprecedented coalition, made up of environmental, zoo and animal protection organizations as well as the traditional Chinese medicine
community, has come together to speak with one voice in calling for an end to trade in tiger parts and products through increased intelligence-led law enforcement and strengthening existing tiger-trade bans. Furthermore, the coalition joins leaders of the international traditional Chinese medicine industry in asking China to make its successful 14-year tiger-trade ban permanent. The aim of the coalition is to coordinate research, communications and awareness-raising efforts in order to provide an organized response to the organized crime that sustains illegal tiger trade and endangers all wild tigers.
- Gratwick, Brian; Elizabeth L. Bennett, Steven Broad, Sarah Christie, Adam Dutton, Grace Gabriel, Craig Kirkpatrick and Kristin Nowell (2007). The World Can't Have Wild Tigers and Eat Them Too. Conservation Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00802.x.
- Karanth, Ullas K, editor (2006). Tiger Tales: Tracking the Big Cat Across Asia. London: Penguin Books.
- Karanth, Ullas K, (2003). Tigers. UK: Colin Baxter Photography Ltd.
- Padel, Ruth (2005). Tiger in Red Weather. London: Little, Brown.
- Seidensticker, John; Christie, Sarah & Jackson, Peter (1999). Riding the Tiger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Seidensticker, John (1996). Tigers. USA: Voyager Press.
- Skipwith, Joanna (2006). Tiger Animals in Art. London: Silver Jungle.
- Zimmerman, Alexandra; Hatchwell, M., Dickie, L. and West, C. (2007). Zoos in the 21st Century: Catalysts for Conservation?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.