Claws bared in war over saving the Indian tiger

Civil war broke out in the conservation camp yesterday when the world's largest environmental charity, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), was slated over its efforts to protect the tiger.

"WWF are fiddling while Rome burns," said Michael Day, founder and chairman of the Tiger Trust. Arraigning the Indian government along with WWF, Mr Day told a press conference in London that unless immediate action was taken to stop poaching, the Indian tiger would be wiped out in five years.

WWF, whose international president is the Duke of Edinburgh, was even accused of not wanting to save the tiger because a healthy population of the big cats would make it harder to alarm people into making donations.

Guy Marriott, a former fundraiser for WWF who is now a Tiger Trust employee, said saving the tiger would be "a marketing disaster" for the fund.

WWF reacted swiftly to defend its record, repudiating Mr Marriott's allegation and pointing out that Mr Day had a book to promote - his Fight the Tiger came out in paperback six weeks ago.

"This is not a responsible course of action for a committed conservationist to take," a WWF spokeswoman said. "The tiger remains in imminent danger of extinction because of poaching but this kind of thing can only damage the conservation effort."

The latest estimate by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world conservation body, put India's tiger population at between 2,500 and 3,750. Last year 73 tigers were known to have been killed by poachers but experts believe that the true figure could be five times as many. Mr Day claimed 500 tigers were slaughtered last year. "In spite of the vast amounts raised each year by the WWF exploiting the plight of the species, nothing is being done to physically protect the tigers from the poachers."

Mr Day, a former advertising executive who founded the Tiger Trust in 1992, said tagging tigers electronically and supplying more armed rangers would do more to stop the trade than trying to improve life for villagers so they would not be tempted to make money out of tigers. The Suffolk- based trust has an annual income of some pounds 230,000, nearly all from donations. In each of the past two years it has put more than pounds 40,000 into financing anti-poaching personnel to protect the Siberian tiger.

Repudiating Mr Day's accusations, set out in a report entitled The Big Cat Cover Up, WWF said it was spending pounds 2.2m on tiger-related conservation projects this year, including pounds 241,000 in India.

"There are no easy ways of solving the current poaching problems, just as there are no quick-fix solutions to stopping the illegal trade in arms and narcotics," it said. The fund has put particular effort into reducing demand for tiger products and is talking with Chinese pharmacists over alternatives to medicines whose ingredients include tiger-body parts.

Suggested Topics
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
News
people
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data/ MI Analyst

£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are cur...

Project Manager with some Agile experience

£45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsf...

Biology Teacher

£100 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Urgently required teacher of Bi...

PPA Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments