Monday, 15 August 2022

The Henley Society

The Henley Society

THE Henley Society’s April talk, held at Shiplake Memorial Hall, was given by Simon Clinton, founder of Marlow conservation organisation Save Wild Tigers.

This is the Chinese year of the tiger, so it was alarming to discover that there are now fewer than 3,800 tigers living in the wild, a 96 per cent reduction in the last 100 years.

Sadly, if steps are not taken to halt the decline, this iconic species will be pushed to the brink of extinction by the next year of the tiger in 2034.

The tiger is routinely returned as the world’s favourite animal in polls among all age groups and to think that the species could be history is unthinkable.

Simon graphically outlined the major threats to tigers — deforestation, loss of habitat, climate change and poaching driven by an illegal demand for tigers and tiger parts made worse by captive breeding facilities across Asia.

Only six species of tigers remain, the Caspian, Balinese and Javanese tigers having become extinct over the past 70 years.

The wild tiger is an umbrella/apex species. Its conservation automatically ensures the protection of many flora and fauna and entire ecosystems.

Thus a properly planned tiger conservation programme is actually a programme to protect and save a large number of species.

Simon said: “Tigers in the wild are killed illegally to fuel the demand for tiger products — tiger meat, a status symbol delicacy, teeth and claws for trinkets, bone for tonic wine and medicine and skins for home decoration.

“Now is the time to put tigers at the top of the agenda, stop illegal poaching and put an end to the tiger trade to ensure their survival.”

For more information, visit

Geoff Luckett, chairman

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