From: Reuters, TOKYO
Published November 10, 2010 06:50 AM

More than 1,000 tigers killed in last decade

More than 1,000 tigers have been killed over the last decade for illegal trade in parts such as skin and bones, and this is likely only a small fraction of the true numbers, a study by wildlife protection groups says.

India saw by far the most seizures of tiger parts, followed by China, Nepal, and Indonesia, said British-based Traffic International, which carried out the study with help from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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"With parts of potentially more than 100 wild tigers actually seized each year, one can only speculate what the true numbers of animals are being plundered," said Pauline Verheij, joint Traffic and WWF Tiger Trade Programme Manager and an author of a report on the study.

A study issued in September by the U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society said Asia's tiger population could be near extinction, with fewer than 3,500 remaining in the wild.

Tiger parts reported in trade ranged from complete skins, skeletons, and even whole animals -- alive and dead -- through to bones, meat, claws, teeth, skulls, penises and other body parts, the report said.

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6A90MT20101110

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