Tiger numbers throughout much of Asia are on the rise. The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates between 3,726 and 5,578 tigers roam the continent. Those numbers are up about 40% from 2015. But conservationists are cautious. The increasing numbers are likely due in part to better counting methods, including the use of remote cameras.
“A lot of us expanded beyond the traditionally known protected areas to other areas, and we’ve suddenly discovered that there are more tigers than we initially started with,” Abishek Harihar, a population ecologist in India and deputy director of the tiger program at the wild cat conservation group Panthera, told the Washington Post. Harihar co-wrote the IUCN’s recent tiger (Panthera tigris) assessment.
In Nepal, biologists estimate the tiger population has climbed from 121 in 2009 to 355 today after government efforts to restore tiger habitats and patrol for poachers.
Despite the gains, tigers remains listed as endangered on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.