A new report by wildlife trade experts Traffic has put hard figures to the scale of the global trade in tigers. While still considered underestimates, 2,361 tigers, live or dead, were seized by authorities across 32 countries and territories from 2000 to 2018. As our infographic shows, there is no clear trend, downward or upward, however 2016 saw a peak for the period of 288 tigers. The animals are not always found whole (29 percent) but most commonly just their skin (40 percent) or other parts, including bones (27 percent).
The most seizures were conducted in India (463) which uncovered evidence of a total of 625 individual tigers being smuggled. Commenting on the findings, Kanitha Krishnasamy, TRAFFIC’s Director for Southeast Asia said: “This pernicious trafficking—evidenced by the continuously high number of whole skins, whole animals—both dead and alive—and bones is testament to the ongoing demand for Tiger parts. The time for talking is over: words must be turned into action to prevent further Tiger loss.”