Only some 5,000 to 7,000 tigers remain living in the wild — fewer than exist in captivity — and urgent action is needed to stop the creatures from disappearing completely, conservation experts warned yesterday. The tiger population has fallen from about 100,000 at the turn of the century, and three sub-species have already gone extinct. Remaining tigers exist in scattered groups in India, China, Russia, and southeast Asia. The main threats to them are loss of habitat and illegal animal trade, according to a report submitted to a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Lisbon, Portugal. The meeting’s chair, Robert Hepworth, called on countries where tigers live to crack down on poachers and other threats to tigers, and asked wealthy nations to fund conservation efforts.

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