TED Case Studies

Tiger Trade from India

     CASE NUMBER:        253
     CASE NAME:          Tiger Trade from India to China

A.   Identification


     Tiger poaching is a recurrent crisis of trade on the
environment in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, North Korea,
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia
and India. The thriving Asian economies have led delegates to
question the source of their income.  Almost all parts of the tiger
is revered as a delicacy. India, like the other countries
mentioned, considers the tiger a highly respected animal; however,
the tiger, at one point, was part of India's religious heritage. 
Tigers were like gods--worshiped and glorified.  Tigers in India
were also used as a sport.  Nearly a quarter of a century ago this
was banned yet tigers continue to hunted there, mostly for export
to India.


     According to Mills, a British writer, filmmaker and wildlife
researcher who has been studying the sad fate of the Indian tigers
for ABC special called Tiger Crisis, as many 500 tigers may have
been poached in India in the past three years.  However, because it
is so difficult to count tigers in the wild, the figure may be as
high as 1,000. It is estimated that there may be fewer than 3,000-
4,000 tigers left in the whole of India--that could represent a
third of the population gone in three years.
     The species is the Indian tiger particularly the Sunatron, the
Ranthambhore, the Maharajah and the Bengal tiger.  The survival of
Burna (Indo-Chinese), the Russian Manchurian, the Regal, Amoy, the
Bali, the Java, the Caspian, the Siberian and the Amurother Asian
tigers, the African elephant, rhinos, even the flora and fauna,
depends on the survival of the Indian tiger. british sahibs

     The tiger is so vulnerable to humans because of its
"unshakable grip on the human imagination."  The first tiger
carcasses were found 6,000 years on the banks of the Amur River in
Russia.  The Goldis people, thought of the tiger as an ancestor and
as god of the wild regions.  In Hindu mythology, the goddess Durga
rides the tiger.  In Chinese philosophy of Taoism, Chang Tao-ling
mounts a big cat in his quest to fight evil and seek the essence of
life.  In English poetry, William Blake's poetry that begins
"Tiger, tiger burning bright in the forest of the night...that
fearful symmetry."

     Many believe that the tiger is a source of healing power. 
Almost every part of the cat is traded for large sums of money. 
Affluent customers pay as much as $320.00-$2000.00 for parts of the
tiger. Some believe that the tiger bones cure rheumatism and
enhance longevity, the skins can be transferred into second-hand
cars and coats ($15,000), the penis makes penis soup and it is said
that it increases ones' prowess, the whiskers are potent
poisons/strength, and the pills made from the eyes purportedly calm

     Only a couple of years ago, substantial progress was made in
usurping the illegal trade; however, in 1972 governments rallied to
save the wild cat.  Indian Prime Minister Indira Ghandhi launched
Project Tiger.  Her efforts caused a ripple to western nations.  By
1980, B.R. Koppikar, director of Project Tiger, maybe
presumptively, reported to the "New York Times" that there was no
danger of extinction of the tiger in India.  

     Many cats in the Ranthambhore park have died from poison that
villagers sprinkled on animals that the tigers had killed and
temporarily left on the ground.  Other tigers are killed by
tribesmen (Mogiya, Boro).  They, in turn, give to the middlemen who
pay $100 to $300 per animal.  They are able to exploit these
tribesmen due to the extremely low wage ration.  (an average is $1
a day).  The tigers are traded for money and also for guns and
ammunition to carry on their insurgency.  The tribesmen need the
weapons because they intend to stage a rebellion against the
government. Sanjoy Debroy, a career wildlife officer, had estimated
that almost 90 tigers had been killed in just four months.  

     India has 60% of the world's tigers.  Over the past five
years, the parks' tiger populations have decreased to an average of
35%.  Between 1989 and 1992, around the Ranthambhore National Park
in Rajasthan, 18 tigers were destroyed to poachers while 60 guards
were patrolling the forest. The CITES, Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species which meet in Geneva in March of 1994,
stated that severe trade sanctions would be placed on China and

     Already on the extinct list include: Caspian, Balinese and
Javan cats.  Only 650 Sumatran and 200 Siberia's Amur, the world's
largest cat remain on the earth.  China has a few dozen left in
which conservationists do not expect them live past the next few

     The import and export of tigers has become a pertinent trade
and environmental issue since the tigris species is endangered. 
Eight different species of tigers have been identified, and three
of these species are already extinct.  The Bali tiger disappeared
in the 1940s, and the Caspian tiger has not been found since the
early 1970s.  The Javan tiger has been extinct since around 1980. 
The South China tiger is virtually extinct, with scatter species
estimated at fewer than 50. The Siberian tigers are estimated at
400-500 and are threatened by loss of habitat and poaching.  The
Indo-Chinese tiger, with approximately 3,100-5,300 still living is
also speculated to be threatened due to habitat loss and poaching,
although the status on this species is uncertain.  The Bengal tiger
which exists almost exclusively in India are estimated at 3,100-
5,300 and are threatened to extinction by poaching and habitat loss
as well (See Appendix I).

     Therefore, several tigers species are already extinct and the
others are endangered or close to extinction.  In 1900, the
estimate of tigers in the world was 100,000.  Peter Jackson,
chairman of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group and one of the world's
leading authorities on tigers, recently predicted that "the end of
the tiger is in sight, possibly within ten years, although some may
linger on for a time." A recent report from TRAFFIC USA on tiger
trade states that all subspecies of tiger are currently threatened
with extinction in the wild and that fewer than 6,000 tigers remain
in the wild.  Tiger populations have been depleted not only by
illegal hunting, but also by habitat loss and persecution as
vermin.  Consequently tigers are included in treaties and
agreements such as, the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species(CITES) Appendices, which will be explained in
more detail.  CITES prohibits the commercial international trade of
tigers.  Moreover, the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits
the trade of tiger products in the United States.

     International trade of tiger parts has been the primary cause
of the extinction of tigers.  Currently, illegal hunting and
poaching are imminent threats to tigers.  The majority of illegal
trading activity occurs in China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Thailand,
Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos and Burma.  China, South Korea and
Taiwan are the leading tiger consuming countries.  Of these
countries, China is the only country with a native tiger
population.  In addition, tiger parts are being used in other Asian
countries, as well as in countries outside of Asia where overseas
Chinese preside.

     According to the World Wildlife Fund, tigers are hunted
primarily for the use of their body parts in Chinese medicines, and
to a lesser extent for souvenirs such as skins and mounted heads. 
Traditional Chinese medicine, as well as traditional Ayurvediv
Indian medicine, are the oldest continuously used medicines in the
world.  Traditional Chinese medicine originated around 3,494 B.C.
when the Chinese Emperor experimented with medicinal plants. 
Patented Chinese medicine has the highest demand in Asia, including
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

     Medicines made from tiger bone are used to treat symptoms such
as joint pain and stiffness, muscular weakness, back pain,
paralysis and muscular spasms.  Other tiger parts are used such as
tiger tails which are mixed with soap to cure skin diseases.  Tiger
whiskers are used as a charm of protection and courage, and the
tiger brain is used as a treatment for acne.  A bowl of tiger soup
can have a price as high as $320.  The World Wildlife Fund posits,
"the medicinal use of tiger parts has been practiced in East Asian
countries for centuries and a belief in their efficacy for treating
health problems is deeply rooted in local cultures."  Therefore,
the cultural aspect of the tiger trade should not be underestimated
in China.

     The question has been raised as to why tigers are still being
killed if they are protected.  The World Wildlife Fund states that
tigers are still being killed because tiger parts are demanded by
smugglers and medicinal traders, who are willing to pay high
prices.  In Russia, it is reported that a single poached tiger
could be exchanged for two or three pickup trucks in 1992.  Tiger
bones in Taiwan sell for approximately $800-1,200 per kilo in the
retail market.  An adult tiger yields around 5-10 kilos of dries

     The demand for patented Chinese medicine in the United States
was especially strong throughout the 1980s and appears to have
increased in the 1990s.  TRAFFIC USA conducted market reviews in
New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Honolulu to determine the
availability of medicines containing endangered species.  The
imported products available in the United States actually list
endangered and threatened species on the labels.  Moreover,
products previously found were still being sold and even packaged
with the same labels.  Prices in New York City for the patented
medicines range from $1.25 per ounce for Hu Gu Sie Xiang with tiger
and musk, and in Los Angeles and San Francisco Musk TianQi Tiger
bone Analgesic Plaster is $0.79 per ounce.  Furthermore, tigers
are considered a delicacy with aphrodisiacal powers.

     In the recent past, the issue of whether or not patented
Chinese medicine actually contains these endangered species has
been reviewed.  According to a United States based physician, often
manufacturers list endangered species on packaging for commercial
reasons.  Moreover, a legal incentive to apply a "truth-in
labeling" principle does not exist.  The Chinese government has
allowed manufacturers licensed by the government to substitute
other animal products or plant products for listed ingredients
without noting the substitution.   However, a number of U.S. laws
require exact ingredient labeling and/or prohibit erroneous or
deceptive labeling (See U.S laws affecting the trade of oriental

     In China, it was discovered that 20% of the medicinal formulas
appeared to have ingredients other than those listed on the labels
found at a Chinese medicine manufacturer.  The new formulas were
created by "additions (tiger and deer antler), substitutions
(leopard sinews for tiger sinews), or deletions (tiger and bear
omitted for overseas exports)."   Most of the medicines contained
endangered species such as tiger, leopard, or bear, in unknown or
small amounts.  

     Consequently, it appears that many of the medicinal exports
from China do not actually contain tiger parts.  Six manufacturers
noted that they used different ingredients depending on the
targeted market.  For example, medicinal products for the domestic
markets often contained genuine tiger parts as opposed to products
for the export market.  However, it is interesting to note that
the substitutions aforementioned are other animals.

     The Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensics
Laboratory (NFWFL) in Ashland, Oregon is the world's only full-
scale wildlife "crime lab."  This lab has already begun analyses on
patented oriental medicine.  However, this analysis should not be
considered conclusive since techniques are constantly being
upgraded, alternative methods are being investigated and sample
sizes are still relatively small.  

     Although tigers are being used within China for medicine, the
Chinese government has always stressed the protection of tigers. 
In the 1960s, the tiger was listed as a "first grade protected wild
animal" on the national level.  Natural reserves have been
established to preserve the tigris species.  Attempts have also
been made to expand the tiger population through tiger breeding in
zoos in China.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, most
countries where the tigers exist have protective laws, although the
enforcement varies depending on the political and legal system of
the country.  Commerce in tigers for circuses and zoos is legal for
the most part, and involves captive-bred animals.

     On May 29, 1993, a notice, "Circular Concerning the Ban on
Trade in Tiger Bones," was promulgated by the State Council to
further prohibit the trade of tiger bone in China.  After this
notice, a total ban on pharmaceutical use of tiger bone, not other
tiger parts, was put into effect.  Prior to this circular, the
medicinal products already produced were required to be sealed and
prohibited from sales.

     The Chinese government has also made efforts to enhance public
awareness through nationwide news agencies and other forms of
publicity.  The goal of these programs has been to promote public
understanding and support in the ban of tiger bones.  The Chinese
government is also making strides in inspection and law
enforcement.  In 1993, over 40,000 person/times were involved in
the inspections of more than 33,000 free markets, stores and
production enterprises; approximately 18,000 illegal cases were
investigated, and over 25,000 criminals were penalized in efforts
to eliminate illegal trade activity.   

     In January 1994, a case was investigated on the smuggling and
fraudulent selling of 50 kilograms of genuine and false tiger bones
and rhinoceros horns and over 100 kilograms of other endangered
species products.  After these products were confiscated, they were
burned.  In September of 1994, illegal transportation of 577
containers of tiger-bone-musk-paint-killer worth approximately
10,000 yuan was discovered and immediately burned.  Furthermore, in
September 1994, two tiger bone smuggling cases were cracked in
Heilongjiang Province; eight tiger skeletons were confiscated, and
eleven criminals were arrested.  China has displayed an
unprecedented high level of law enforcement protection for wildlife

     As a member of CITES, the Chinese Government has tried to
carry out the resolution of the 30th Standing Committee of CITES in
order to support global protection of the tigris species.  Specific
regulations were strengthened in 1994 to improve supervision and
control over tiger populations.  In 1994, the Chinese government
put into effect "Establishment Criteria for the Criminal Cases
Concerning Terrestrial Wildlife."  The government has also
recruited new staff into the Administrative Office of Import and
Export of Endangered Species and its branch offices.  China has
conducted discussions with India in order to promote the signing of
an agreement on cooperative tiger protection.  In cooperation with
Russia, China is trying to conduct surveys and research on the
subject of the Manchurian tiger.

     In a December 1994 CITES update based on the Ninth Conference
to the Parties of CITES held November 7-18, 1994, a summary was
made of the trade tiger.  One hundred seventeen party countries,
seven non-party countries, one UN organization, thirty-eight
international organizations and one hundred eight national
organizations were represented at this conference.  Twenty-one
delegates were present from China.  The summary included
recommendations that tiger consumer states develop educational
outreach programs and other strategies to eliminate the demand for
tiger parts and derivatives in traditional medicinal communities
(See Doc. 9.29). Although China has made significant progress in
its efforts to preserve the tiger, China is still a developing
country.  In a recent progress report on the trade of tiger bones,
it is stressed that: 
   constraints of economic, cultural and scientific nature        
   still exist in China and the century-long utilization of       
   wild fauna and flora in Chinese medicine is a typical          
   example.  In this connection, protection of wildlife species   
   is a long-term arduous task for the Chinese people, with       
   many difficulties and problems waiting to be dealt with. 

     In Taiwan, despite, the prohibition on the import of tiger
bones in 1985 and the ban on international sale and possession of
tiger bone since 1989 under Taiwan's Wildlife Conservation Law, the
tiger bone has been traded unhindered until November of 1992 due to
a campaign boycotting Taiwanese products launched by Western
environmental groups.

     In May 1993, a representative of the Ministry of Health and
Social Affairs of the Republic of Korea expressed that South Korea
was willing to enter a reservation on Panthera tigris in order to
allow import of tiger bone products for the use of traditional-
medicine manufacturers.  This reservation was eliminated after the
South Korean representative was informed that no other Parties held
reservation on the tiger and that such a reservation would be
considered "counterproductive to the global efforts to conserve the
species and thus arouse harsh criticism."

     The United States has made a commitment to protect the tigris
species.  The import of Tigris species, in particular, is targeted
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), based in Arlington,
Virginia.  The United States Secretary of the Interior Babbit,
pursuant to the Pelly Amendment, issued a certification to the
President of the United States indicating that China and Taiwan are
continuing to trade these products and are undermining CITES.  The
Pelly Amendment targets countries for violating international
conservation programs.  This wildlife protection provision provides
the President with the power to impose trade penalties, including
the complete prohibition or importation of goods if necessary.

     The Clinton Administration's imposition of trade sanctions for
the trade of tiger and rhino parts marks the first trade measure in
the United States to protect the environment.  Interior Secretary
Babbit told delegates that "the US cannot stand by while the
world's remaining wild tigers...slip into extinction as a result of
illegal commercial trade in the world marketplace." 
International conservation groups, lobbying for tougher actions to
stop not only retailers but also illegal traders, have supported
the United States' and CITES' actions.

     Some researchers discourage the use of trade sanctions to
precipitate positive environmental change particularly in regards
to the tiger and rhino cases.  Studies show that the demand for
tiger bone is inelastic.  Most users of Chinese medicine containing
tiger parts for its healing power are likely to continue their
demand for this product despite the cost or availability of equally
effective substitutes.  If the tiger were to become extinct,
derivative products would become extremely valuable.  Therefore,
sanctions may encourage the collection of these animal parts rather
than deter poaching or illegal trade.

     According to a recent trade report, the future of the tiger
depends on international and national commitment to conservation,
effective implementation of existing international and national law
and the upgrading of the tiger's legal status.  Furthermore, the
strict implementation of the CITES Treaty by all fourteen tiger
range countries and the cooperation between the range countries in
combatting poaching and trade in tiger products is needed.  Efforts
must also be made of to sustain the existing tiger population by
protecting their habitat.


     TIGER case
     USCHINA case
     RHINO case
     ELEPHANT case

     Keyword Clusters    
     (1): Forum                    = INDIA
     (2): Bio-geography            = TROPical
     (3): Environmental Problem    = Species Loss Sea [SPLS]

Similar cases exist in most of the Asian countries.  Demand for
tiger bone originated in Korea, Taiwan and China largely beyond the
reach of Western publicity campaigns.  The defense is based on what
Weston claims as cultural relativism.  Korea openly imported tiger
parts until July 1993.  TRAFFIC International statistics claim that
Korea was importing from 52 to 96 dead tigers a year between 1988
and 1992.  The stockpilers anticipated the decline in tiger trade
therefore they stocked up on parts.  Korea finally signed the CITES
agreement that banned tiger imports; however, the flow of external
parts was controlled but the internal control was not.   

Taiwan announced a series of measures over the past fifteen years
recalling the use of tiger bone and other parts from the list of
endangered species.  The actions were annoyances to the dealers
rather than serious blows to their businesses. The London-based
Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) called for sanctions
against Taiwan for failing to halt illicit trade.  In February of
1994, Earth Trust sited four 13 of 21 pharmacies in Taiwanese
cities for selling tiger-bone medicines. Although most of the
medicines have been removed from shelves, EIA found that tiger,
rhinos and other endangered species were still readily available.
Peter Jackson, chief of the International Union for the
conservation of Nature (IUCN) reported that tiger bone sells for
$580.00 a pound.

China has the most blatant violation of importing as well as
exporting of illegal tiger trade. The Indian tigers' problem seems
to be that the Chinese have killed all of theirs.  In the 1950's,
tigers were slaughtered in droves not because of the dangerousness
of the animal but because of its value.  The bones of the tiger are
used for ulcers and burns and the whiskers are used for toothaches. 
It is estimated that China (particular Southern China) now holds
only 20-25 tigers. In northern China, the numbers are only a little
larger of the Siberian variety.  Chinese usually turn to the Indian
market with Taiwanese acting as the middlemen."   

Russia, an unlikely candidate, sells tigers also.  In 1993,
statistics proved that only 300 of the animals were found in
Russia.  The reason given for its decrease in population is that
because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, it brought with it the
collapse of old environmental regimes that protected the species. 
It is rumored that the skins are exchanged for second-hand cars.  
In addition to Taiwan, Russia, China and Korea, George Schaller of
New York's Wildlife Conservation warns that if this practice keeps
up, other lions in Africa will be in danger.   

5.   DRAFT AUTHOR:  A. Charisse Espy



Delegates from more than 100 countries participated in the
conference.  The discourse is numerous.  The ninth meeting of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
rebuffed efforts to loosen restrictions on tiger trade. However,
they did agree to revise the CITES treaty, signed in 1973, by
adopting new enforcement measures to protect Asian tigers.  Despite
the bans, tigers are still disappearing.  In addition, 10 nations
presented a resolution calling for voluntary domestic tiger trade
bans.  The resolution prepared by China, India, Indonesia, Japan,
Malaysia, Nepal South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
anticipated little to no opposition from the 124 nations that are
parties to the multilateral pact. 

The resolution notes that three tiger species have become extinct
in the last 50 years.  It also called on governments and
organizations to allocate funds for conservation efforts and public
awareness campaigns, increase border patrols to stop poaching and
encourage an overall respect for the tiger.  The next review of the
treaty will be held in Zimbabwe in 1997.

At an international conference in New Delhi in 1995, Kamal Nath,
India's environment minister won agreement from 9 of the 14 "tiger
range states" in Asia - countries where at least some tigers
survive in the wild - join in establishing a new organization, the
Global tiger Forum.  The conference ended with dubious commitments
from the participates, surprising none from China which was one of
the countries that shunned the meeting.


     In September of 1994, Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia signed the Lusaka Agreement, to end the
illegal trade in endangered species.  They claimed that they
noticed tourism decrease so they decided with the help of CITES,
they help to centralize databases, gather and analyze information
because the problem will ultimately effect them later.  Its tigers
today, rhinos and elephants tomorrow.

     The new Rhino and Tiger Conservation Act, signed into law   
only in October of 1994 authorizes funding for enforcement  efforts
in Asia and Africa. The department of Interior has     reprogrammed
$100,000 in the budget to the new program.  The World Wildlife Fund
has also committed to match dollar-for-dollar.

7.   Number of Parties Affected: 1

8.   Legal Standing:  TREATY

     Gopal Moghiya, a member of the tribe of hunters who
traditionally worked as guards     for local herdsmen, was arrested
as a poacher   by the police at Sawai Madhopur, the local railway
junction.  The arrest of several other men followed, including a
local Muslim butcher, Gulam Hussain, who was accused of rendering
tigers poached from the reserve at Ranthambhore.  They accounted
for the poaching of 12 tigers in the bazaars of Old Delhi. They
lost their case.  

     In Heilongjiang, China anyone found in possession of importing
or exporting any tiger products without a license is subject to a
fine of $25,000 on first conviction.  There is a maximum penalty of
a $50,000 fine and six months' imprisonment for subsequent


     a.  Geographic Domain:   Asia
     b.   Geographic Site:    South Asia [SAsia]
     c.   Geographic Impact:   India



12.  TYPE OF MEASURE: Export Ban [EXBAN]

13.  IMPACT: DIRect


     a.  Directly Related:    Yes  TIGER

     b.  Indirectly Related:  No
     c.   Not Related:        No
     d.  Related to process:  Yes  Species Loss Land [SPLL]



      When China became a party of CITES in 1985, it banned the use
of tiger parts in new products.  In actuality, China has continued
the use for domestic items, as well as exports.  China is still a
major manufacturer of medicine containing tiger parts, which are
re-exported not only to other Asian countries, but also to the
United States and Canada.  Chinese medicine is readily available in
Chinatowns in cities such as San Francisco, New York and Vancouver.

     In the mid-1980s, the production of Chinese medicines in China
was valued at US$571 million per year.  Chinese herbs are currently
estimated at more than US$1 billion annually in foreign currency
into the United States.  Of the 1.8 million medicinal items
reported from 1984-1992, approximately $554,000 (or 30%) were from
protected or prohibited species.  It is estimated that
approximately 92% of the medicinal products were either abandoned
by the importer, refused clearance or seized by enforcement
officials, apparently because of violations of the Endangered
Species Act or CITES.    The above statistics indicate that even
more than .5 million dollars could have been grossed from the trade
of protected or prohibited species if regulations were not being
enforced.  This regulation has been successful in stopping the
trade of animal parts at a particular point in the trading process.

     In East Asia, South Korea as also a leading importer of tiger
parts, particularly tiger bone.  To effectively control the stock
of tiger bone and their derivatives, all stock is required to be
registered and records of all transaction should be kept.  A total
of 943.24 kilograms, of which 90.62 are bone and 852.62 kilograms
are in powder form, was reported for registration in May 1994 by 36
pharmaceutical companies, wholesaler dealers and oriental medicine
practitioners.  It is important to note that over 96% of bone
stocks are under the possession of two large pharmaceutical
companies in Seoul, which are under close surveillance.

      The method for marking bone stocks includes a sticker
certified by the Ministry of Health and Science Affairs (MOHSA)
affixed to the bone and photographed to ensure that the sticker
would not be removed or reused for unregistered illegal bone. 
Stickers are attached to the containers of tiger bone powder. 
Therefore, relatively strict methods of stocking tiger bone are
being enforced in South Korea despite the persistent illegal




     Species:  tigers
     Genera:   sunatron, burma, manchurian, regal, amoy and the
     Diversity:Indo-Chinese tiger found in Burma, Indo-China,
               Malaysia and Thailand =900-1,500 tigers.
               North-eastern China = 50
               Amoy/South China = 50
               India, Bangladesh and Nepal=1,800
               Sumatran tiger=400-500
               Siberian/Manchurian/Amur tiger=250-400
               Total remaining = 100,000

     At a CITES meeting in Brussels, Belgium, September 6-8, 1993
on the subject of trade in Tiger Specimens, the total of number of
tigers in the world was estimated between 4,600 and 7,700 by
government officials and independent tiger specialists.  These
figures are derived from anecdotal reports and extrapolations. 
Therefore, the possibility exists that the actual numbers my be
less than the estimate.  India and Malaysia are the only countries
which have maintained a nation-wide consensus of the species. 
Consequently, estimates from these countries contain the most
reliable figures of the tiger population.  However, the methodology
used in India and Malaysia is not believed to be completely exact

23.  URGENCY AND LIFETIME: HIGH and 40-50 years 

     Tigers are currently on the verge of extinction.  The number
has fallen from  100,000 at the turn of the century to possibly
fewer than 5,000 in the wild today.


     The publicity on tiger poaching and illegal trade is growing
and is being directed at countries such as China which are
currently using large quantities of tiger bone and other parts. 
The medicinal communities in these countries are encouraged to
utilize alternative synthetic products as medicine.

     China is still conducting research on substitutes of products
containing medicinal ingredients such as the tiger bone.  Related
research programs have been a part of key scientific items in the
State's Ninth Five-Year Plan and also in "China Agenda 21 Action

F.   OTHER Factors


     The use of tiger parts in medicine is a traditional,
culturally embedded practice in China.  Over the millennia,
traditional Chinese medicine has developed and perfected as an
"integral part of Chinese culture" according to Gaski and Johnson
in a World Wildlife Trade Report.  The use of animal parts for
treating health problems is deeply rooted in local traditional
Chinese culture.  Stopping this tradition would signal a break in
Chinese culture.  

     In India, the tiger is revered as a mystical animal.
Culturally, all animals are considered viable species especially
the goat, the elephant and the rhinos.  In ancient times, the tiger
was like a god.  Indians worshiped and honored these animals



     The Himalayas provide an escape route for poachers to sell to
China.  Also, because the west finds this problem inimical to asian
countries, to punish one without punishing the other would prove
non-binding to the international community.  Therefore, the problem
of illegal tiger trade is a trans-boundary issue.


Adakari, Ajay. Interview. 13 February 1995. Professor of Accounting
at The American University.

Agarwal, Anil, "Human-nature interactions in a Third World        
country" Fifth World Conservation Lecture, The Environmentalist,
vol. 6, no. 3.

Agence France Press. 19 November 1994. "Endangered species  
conference ends with mixed results." Fort Lauderdale, FL. 

Anderson, John.  International Herald Tribune, 1 December 1994.
"Extinction Tracks Down Wild Cats and Rhinos as Poaching    Surges

Burns, John.  "Medicinal Potions May Doom Tiger to Extinction." 
The New York Times: (March 15, 1994).

Business International. "India Goes Greener in 1990." 17 June 1990.

Burnes, John R. International Herald Tribune. 17 March 1994. "Tiger
in Danger of Extinction." 

Burnes, John F. The New York Times. "Medicinal Potions May Doom
Tiger to Extinction." 15 March 1994.

Clover, Charles, The Daily Telegraph. "Britain Linked to Tiger
Trade" 14 September 1994.

Favre, D.  International Trade in Endangered Species: A Guide to
CITES (1989).

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