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Setting and Implementing Standards for Management of Wild Tigers
- Pasha, M. K. S., Dudley, Nigel, Stolton, Sue, Baltzer, Michael, Long, Barney, Roy, Sugoto, Belecky, Michael, Gopal, Rajesh, Yadav, S. P.
- Land 2018 v.7 no.3
- Panthera tigris, conservation areas, funding, governance, landscapes, monitoring, nongovernmental organizations, philosophy, wildlife management
- Tiger numbers have collapsed so dramatically that conservationists are adopting a strategy of securing populations in priority conservation landscapes. This includes improving management effectiveness in these sites. The Conservation Assured|Tiger Standards (CA|TS) are designed to help ensure effectiveness and provide a benchmark against which to measure progress. CA|TS is a distillation of best practice and a roadmap to management effectiveness, linking management to expert-driven standards covering all aspects of management, including those which are tiger-specific (monitoring, maintenance of prey, control of poaching). Sites are audited against a set of standards and if met, are accredited as CA|TS Approved. We describe CA|TS in the context of tiger conservation, describe the evolution and philosophy of the system and consider its application across the tiger range, before drawing on lessons learned from 5 years of development. Important benefits include the independence of CA|TS from existing governmental or NGO institutions, the emphasis on regional governance and the existence of active support groups. Conversely, the participatory approach has slowed implementation. CA|TS remains more attractive to well managed sites than to sites that are struggling, although building capacity in the latter is its key aim. The close connections between people working on tiger conservation make some aspects of independent assessment challenging. Finally, if CA|TS is to succeed in its long term aims, it needs to go hand in hand with secure and adequate funding to increase management capacity in many tiger conservation areas.