Hi Black Wildebeest (now something tells me that cannot possibly be your real name
Yes the tigers are a worrying issue, and the official figure is 1411. It is not common to see this magnificent animal in the wild, but then the difference as compared to lions are that these are much like leopards in that they are solitary. The problem is the population pressure - the more the humans, the more we demand - and that includes land and water - 2 natural resources which we take for granted but will become serious issues in the not so far future. The positives are that both the general population and the govt are finally waking up to the fact that we need to protect the tiger, and I just hope against hope that we have seen the worst and the tiger is making a recovery in more than a few of the national parks in India.
I must share that I do not believe the S China tiger exists in the wild. The Sumatran tiger I fear the worst. So outside the Bengal tiger, the only other species is the Amur or Siberian. Given the conditions in Far East Russia, it can't be easy for tigers.
I do not know if you are aware but the last cheetah was hunted in India in the 1920s, so we have wiped out at least this cat from the sub continent. There are many such species like the snow leopard and the clouded leopard (often clubbed together). We get these in the Himalayan region in India, but they are so rare and so few... so yes, the world has to get its act together and decide that there is a need and space for all living creatures, not just man, otherwise as you rightly put it, given the demand from China, there is little hope.
I guess you mean John Varty. I agree and good for him to try and preserve the gene pool, just in case all else fails.
I hope to be visiting Kazirangha this winter. This is a national park in India which is home to the Indian one horn rhino - not too many of these left either...
Do share where you decide to go and how your trip was.
Take care and all the best