This Global Tiger Day, Richmond Football Club is calling on its fans to rally together to help save wild tigers from extinction by purchasing a Tiger Conservation Membership.
The recently launched membership offering is helping wild tigers flourish in their natural habitat, namely a critical tiger landscape in Malaysia that sees poachers responsible for a 50% reduction in wild tiger population.
Funds from the membership directly employ indigenous community members in Malaysia who work with WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) to patrol the Royal Belum State Park, disrupting poachers' activity, destroying tiger snares, and monitoring the area for tigers.
Richmond is halfway to its target of 660 Tiger Conservation Memberships. Reaching 660 memberships would provide funding for a Tiger Patrol Unit (TPU) for a full 12 months.
Reporting shows that the vital work of TPUs significantly lessens poacher activity, giving tigers such as the Tigress and four cubs recently sighted on a camera trap in the region a chance to flourish.
WWF-Malaysia Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Sophia Lim said it was a welcome sight, especially in the lead-up to Global Tiger Day celebrations this month.
"With the tiger population currently numbering fewer than 150 in Peninsular Malaysia, this latest development renews hope that this critically endangered species can be saved from the brink of extinction," she added.
"It is all the more crucial that we continue our patrols, to protect these cubs and their mother from the existing threats of poaching and loss of habitat."
On average, tigers give birth to two to four cubs every two years. If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within five months - given that the tiger finds a healthy mate and if conditions are conducive for breeding.
Richmond's Tiger Conservation Memberships include a Tiger plush toy, access to a Richmond home game, and access to a members exclusive web page with competitions, updates from the Patrol Unit, and Tiger facts.
By signing up for a membership in July or August, members will be in the running to be part of the official 2023 AFL RFC team photo – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Richmond has been proactive in shining a light on Tiger conservation for the past four years with premiership stars and Tiger Ambassadors, Nick Vlastuin, Jack Graham, and Toby Nankervis visiting Sumatra and Central India to witness first-hand how successful tiger conservation can be achieved.
Tiger populations are now stable or increasing in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and China. An estimated 3,900 tigers remain in the wild, but much more work is needed to protect this species if they are to secure their future in the wild.