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World’s largest photo mosaic of tiger unveiled at CITES;
World leaders urged to end tiger trade

07 June 2007


Jan Vertefeuille, WWF, +31-626-529-338 


Judy Mills, STF, + 31-655-933-423

The Hague, The Netherlands – A two-storey-high photo mosaic of a tiger, created from personal photos of nearly 25,000 tiger lovers worldwide, was unveiled here today to urge world leaders to end all trade in tigers. Individuals from more than 140 countries contributed their pictures to it.

The International Tiger Coalition, comprised of 35 organizations working to save wild tigers, assembled the world’s largest photo mosaic of a tiger in front of the World Forum Convention Center today with the message, “End Tiger Trade.” Delegates from 171 countries are meeting here for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

“We think a mosaic made from photos of tiger fans is a powerful way to remind world governments that the eyes of the world are watching what happens at CITES,” said Dr. Bivash Pandav, head of WWF’s international tiger programme. “The fate of wild tigers is in the hands of governments around the globe. Tigers won’t survive without meaningful new commitments by governments to scale up law enforcement and protection.”

Wild tigers face an emerging threat from Chinese tiger farms, which now house nearly 5,000 captive-bred tigers. The farm owners are pressuring the Chinese government to lift its successful 14-year ban on domestic trade in tiger bones and products. The Chinese delegation to CITES distributed a position paper this week saying it was maintaining the ban for now, but listing the supposed benefits of trading products made from farmed tigers.

“As someone who works in the field to stop tiger poaching, I’ve seen how China’s ban has eased poaching pressure on wild tigers,” said Prasanna Yonzon, CEO of Wildlife Conservation Nepal. “Lifting the ban to allow a handful of investors to profit from selling tiger parts would doom tigers in the wild by reigniting demand. And poachers would have a greater incentive to go after wild tigers.”

The coalition is calling on the Chinese government to reject the pending petition by tiger farm investors that seeks to overturn the country’s ban, close down the country’s numerous tiger farms and destroy the stockpile of carcasses being stored on these farms so they cannot enter illegal trade. .

Tiger Photo Mosaic Facts:

•    So far, close to 25,000 people from at least 146 countries have submitted their photos online to create the International Tiger Coalition’s photo mosaic. Of the 146 countries represented on the mosaic, 142 are members of CITES.

•    Photos may be submitted for the online version of the mosaic through 15 June. Link is at

•    Additionally, 32,000 signatures have been collected for a message of appreciation to China, urging the country to keep in place its successful ban on domestic tiger trade.

•    The mosaic billboard unveiled at the CITES meeting in The Hague covers 36 square meters and is the height of a two-storey building.

•    Citizens from every tiger range state contributed photos to the mosaic: China, India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, Bangladesh, Russia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

•    The 10 countries submitting the most photos were the Netherlands, the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Indonesia, China, Sweden and Malaysia.

•    The International Tiger Coalition is an unprecedented alliance of environmental, zoo and animal protection organizations as well as the traditional Chinese medicine community, that has come together to speak with one voice in calling for an end to trade in tiger parts and products through increased intelligence-led law enforcement and strengthening existing tiger-trade bans. Furthermore, the coalition joins leaders of the international traditional Chinese medicine industry in asking China to make its successful 14-year tiger-trade ban permanent.

American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Animal Welfare Institute
Animals Asia Foundation
Association of Zoos & Aquariums 
Born Free Foundation 
Born Free USA
British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums 
Care for the Wild International
Conservation International 
Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicin
David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation
Environmental Investigation Agency 
Global Tiger Patrol
Humane Society International
Humane Society of the United States
International Fund for Animal Welfare
Ranthambhore Foundation
Save The Tiger Fund
Species Survival Network 
The Corbett Foundation 
Tigris Foundation 
21st Century Tiger 
Wildlife Alliance
Wildlife Conservation Nepal
Wildlife Conservation Society
Wildlife Protection Society of India
Wildlife Trust of India
World Association of Zoos & Aquariums
World Society for the Protection of Animals
Zoological Society of London





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