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WWF & Leonardo DiCaprio: For the first time in 100 years, tiger numbers are growing

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Global Tiger Forum (GTF) announced today that the number of wild tigers has increased for the first time after more than 100 years of constant decline.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) and WWF committed in 2010, along with partners around the globe and all 13 countries with wild tigers, to doubling the number of tigers in the wild by 2022.

WWF has been working to conserve tigers for more than 50 years, and currently works to protect tigers and their critical habitat across the 13 tiger range countries. LDF is among the most significant contributors to WWF's tiger conservation efforts, with $6.2 million committed since 2010.

STATEMENTS



"We've watched tigers decline for decades and have dreamed of bending that curve in the other direction," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). "In a sea of bad news on the environment, we're now seeing an increase in the global wild tiger population for the first time in 100 years. This is a big deal. Together with the generous support of our partners like LDF and so many others, we are making significant progress on one of the greatest comeback stories in conservation.

"We see that leaders matter. Communities matter. And coalitions matter. Now is the moment to amplify these efforts and achieve our shared dream to double the wild tiger population by 2022."

"Tigers are some of the most vital and beloved animals on Earth," said Leonardo DiCaprio, LDF chairman and WWF board member. "With our partners at WWF, my Foundation has supported major efforts to double the number of tigers in the wild. In Nepal, our efforts have produced one of the greatest areas of progress in tiger conservation, which is helping drive this global increase in population. I am so proud that our collective efforts have begun to make progress toward our goal, but there is still so much to be done. I am optimistic about what can be achieved when governments, communities, conservationists and private foundations like ours come together to tackle global challenges," added DiCaprio.

About World Wildlife Fund

WWF is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and keep up with the latest conservation news by following @WWFNews on Twitter.

A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=39777

CONTACT: Brendan Rohr World Wildlife Fund 202-495-4621 brendan.rohr@wwfus.org

Source:World Wildlife Fund