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Program Aims to Protect Tigers -- and Their Prey

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on Thursday announced plans for what they are calling the Tigers Forever Initiative -- a new approach to conservation with a goal of increasing tiger numbers by 50 percent over the next 10 years across WCS tiger sites.

Alan Rabinowitz, director of the Science and Exploration Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society, says what makes this new approach different is that the WCS will be holding itself accountable for a significant increase in tiger numbers over a specific period of time.

In a dozen field sites, scientists will be focusing not only on the tigers but on the safety of their prey and the actions of their human neighbors. They'll work closely with local governments to gather more baseline data on tigers in some areas while increasing anti-poaching activities at other sites.

In a National Geographic Radio Expeditions interview, Rabinowitz notes that this kind of accountability is a new concept for conservationists.

"We're putting our reputations on the line and holding ourselves accountable that we can grow tiger numbers," he says. "At the same time, we have the knowledge, expertise and track record to accomplish this goal."

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Alex Chadwick
For more than 30 years, Alex Chadwick has been bringing the world to NPR listeners as an NPR News producer, program host and currently senior correspondent. He's reported from every continent except Antarctica.
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