WildHope Digital Magazine WildHope Fall 2012 : Page 22

EYE OF THE TIGER CONSERVATION PHOTO ESSAY BY STEVE WINTER Skyrocketing human populations in Asia have eliminated 93 percent of tiger’s historic range, with human settlements, roads, industry, and agriculture encroaching on tiger territory, sparking human-wildlife conflicts. In the early 1990s, the demand for tiger parts for use in traditional Chinese medicine grew exponential-ly, fueling an illicit, multimillion dollar trade run by international arms and drug dealers. The situa-tion has grown so dire that Thailand, India, and other nations have dis-patched armed commandos to pro-tect tiger reserves. I shot this story in three countries, Thailand, Indonesia (Sumatra), and India, trying to document the beauty of the tiger, the serious threats they face, and heroic efforts to protect them. A camera trap captures an Indochinese tiger at dusk in Thailand’s Hua Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary 22

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