by Daelyn Fortney
Categories: Animals
Tags: .
Photo: cc: flickr.com/photos/kkoshy

Leonardo DiCaprio has teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to launch a campaign called Save Tigers Now. Working with the WWF, DiCaprio hopes to bring attention to the species which is on the brink of extinction—as few as 3,200 tigers remain in the wild.

“Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world’s most important ecosystems,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “Key conservation efforts can save the tiger species from extinction, protect some of the planet’s last wild habitats and help sustain the local communities surrounding them. By protecting this iconic species, we can save so much more.”

The actor and WWF, who hope to raise $20 million which will be used to double the tiger population by 2022, are travelling to Asia to gather first-hand knowledge of the threats faced by tigers. A website has been set up for the Save The Tigers Now campaign which will allow supporters to follow DiCaprio as he participates in anti-poaching patrols, meets with park guards, and explores ways to protect the large cats.

“Give tigers enough space and protection and they’ll recover,” said WWF CEO Carter Roberts. “But public support means everything and changing laws and ending demand for tiger parts means we need to tell their story – in places like the U.S., India and China. Which is why this partnership with Leonardo is so important, he can reach the public, tell this story to our children and engage leaders around the world – to save tigers now.”

Tiger populations are threatened by habitat loss and illegal poaching. Since the 1940’s three tiger sub-species have gone extinct and a fourth one has not been seen in the wild for a quarter century.