Tiger Island Sanctuaries?

In the Jan. 5 entry, we discussed radical option for saving tigers.

What is happening now is not working so it is time to shoot for the stars and see what happens when it comes to this  great cat.

One of the solutions I posted was tiger island sanctuaries. Here’s the quote from that post.

There are enough small to medium islands scattered throughout the Pacific to create tiger preserves that would not be cost effective for poachers to hit. Many of these islands have populations of wild pigs and could be stocked with abundant deer. Problem tigers (human and livestock killers) could be recaptured and place on these islands with the idea of setting it with just enough male/female ratio to create a breeding population. In some cases that might be two tigers but if two can breed and raise young in the wild, then we’re gaining ground. We’ll talk more about this in much more detail in a later blog.

This may sound like there’s no way it could happen but I believe the approach could give a place for wild tigers to stay wild and out of the danger that occurs in their normal range while conservation efforts are put in places to purchase large contiguous tracts of tiger habitat.

This tiger's footprint which has begun fading after a light rain serves as a reminder these great cats could soon vanish in the sands of time.
This tiger’s footprint which has begun fading after a light rain serves as a reminder these great cats could soon vanish in the sands of time.

If the Pacific is not a good option there are places even along the American coast that could serve as adequate tiger habitat. We forget that before the 20th century tigers were found everywhere from Iran to China and everywhere in between so they can adapt to various kinds of habitat and weather conditions.

And if effort were made to take problem tigers alive and use them as the foundation you would have no net loss of wild tigers.

Five islands could be chosen with the goal of filling those with nuisance tigers and closely monitoring them and if there is success in rearing young, recaptures could move the cats around to spread around the genetics and expand the program.

Of course there are tons of logistics like which territories would allow it, be safe and have ample space and populations of game like wild boar. In addition there would be territoriality problems and a host of other issues to work through but with this solution you could have a fairly controlled environment which to possibly rear wild cats that would rear their own young and build a population that would help replenish other regions.

We can keep up with the status quo or move forward boldly with new ideas. The tiger’s very existence hangs in the balance so it’s time to make something happen or else the sands of time will do it for us.

Chester Moore, Jr.

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