Tiger Campaign (1989-1994)

During the years 1989-1994, as part of Earthtrust's Endangered Wildlife Initiative, the illicit trade in tiger parts was extensively investigated to determine whether if was feasible to save tigers in the wild. This work included undercover operations of many Earthtrust field operatives in Indonesia, Taiwan, Mainland China, and other countries using hidden cameras--work which at times was quite dangerous. The result was a shocking overview of the availability of tiger parts for folk-medicine usage and the conclusion that at current rates of consumption tigers may be doomed in the wild.

Earthtrust's undercover work played a large role in the efforts of the Endangered Species Project and other groups in convincing the United States to apply economic sanctions against Taiwan for this trade: the first time sanctions had been applied by the US for any wildlife issue, and the first trade sanctions against Taiwan for any reason. Earthtrust's presence and research materials also prevented the downlisting of the Siberian tiger at the 1991 CITES meeting in Japan. Unfortunately, the situation of the tiger remains a bleak one.

Some of the results of Earthtrust's work in the area are extensively documented in the 1993 white paper titled "The Market for Tiger Products on Taiwan: A Survey" written by the former head of Earthtrust Taiwan, Keith Highley.


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