Tigers numbers have decined by over 95% and today there are only around 3,900 wild tigers left in the world. In 2010 the governments of 13 Tiger Range Countries (TRCs) agreed to The St. Petersburg Declaration on Tiger Conservation to arrest this decline and double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
The declaration has an 11 point plan to achieve this aim including (point 4): Increasing the effectiveness of tiger and habitat management, basing it on: a) The application of modern and innovative science, standards, and technologies; b) Regular monitoring of tigers, their prey, and habitat; c) Adaptive management practices; and d) Building capacity of institutions involved in science and training and creating a platform for interactive knowledge exchange at all levels.
Conversation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS) is a partnership between governments, NGOs and tiger conservation areas to define and implement these conservation standards. Becoming part of CA|TS provides countries, individual tiger conservation areas or networks of areas with the opportunity to demonstrate commitment to, and success in, protecting wild tigers.CA|TS vision is to ensure wild tigers have spaces to live and breed safe from threat resulting in increased populations and recovery of range.
The Conversation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS) is an accreditation scheme that encourages tiger conservation areas to meet a set of standards and criteria, created by an international group of experts and protected area managers, that assures effective and long term tiger conservation. CA|TS provides an opportunity for individual tiger conservation areas or networks of areas to demonstrate their commitment to, and success in, protecting tigers.CA|TS mission is to secure safe havens for wild tigers.
Adoption and implementation of CA|TS standards ensures tiger habitats are effectively conserved, well-managed and ecologically connected to maintain, secure and recover viable populations.
CA|TS demonstrate and promotes best practice in protected area management in Asia.
Develop expert-led CA|TS criteria and accreditation processes which are credible and scientifically relevant and linked with associated conservation standards (e.g. Green List).
Register the world's most important tiger areas and develop programmes which mobilise support and capacity for management in order to help these areas meet the CA|TS criteria.
Establish linkages with global conservation agencies, government agencies / institutions to build capacity and mobilise resources and promote best practices.
The CA|TS framework is centred around 7 conservation management pillars, followed by 17 elements and associated criteria for effective management of tiger conservation areas
Importance and status
Social, culture and biological significance
The ecological, biological, social, cultural and economic values and benefits of the area have been aligned with tigers as a major conservation target.
Areas critical for tiger conservation, within the tiger conservation area and in the vicinity, are recognized, acknowledged, managed and maintained.
Legal Status, regulation and compliance
Legal frameworks and regulations, including law enforcement, are in place, understood, supportive of effective management and implemented.
A comprehensive management plan/system, developed with stakeholder involvement and including specific tiger conservation elements, is in place, is in alignment with all other planning documents and monitored.
Management plan/system implementation
The management plan/system forms the basis for implementation of conservation activities.
Operational plans, budgetary and administrative systems are in place and management processes are transparent and accountable.
Staff training and numbers are appropriate to the management demands of the area and good employment systems are in place.
Infrastructure, equipment and facilities
Infrastructure, equipment and facilities are appropriate to the management needs of the area and are constructed and maintained to avoid and/or mitigate conservation impact.
Sustainability of financial resources
Financial resources are sufficient for management needs and include contingency planning for emergency situations.
Management plans/systems are readily adapted to reflect new information, research, effectiveness assessment etc.
Effective mechanisms for dealing with human-wildlife conflict (HWC) are in place.
Management systems respect cultural identity and outreach and awareness programmes, benefit sharing and conflict resolution policies and strategies are in place.
Coordination and cooperation takes place with stakeholders who may impact area management.
Tourism plans and programmes are in place where appropriate.
Protection strategies are planned and implemented (e.g. well equipped and trained staff, effective legal instruments, etc) to ensure protection of tigers and prey.
Effective systems are in place to manage habitats, mitigate disturbance, improve water availability, manage invasive species and increase the prey base.
Scientifically rigorous monitoring of tigers takes place and informs management.
The full CA|TS process is outlined in the CA|TS manual, a summary is provided in the diagram below.