"Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world's most important ecosystems," says DiCaprio. "Key conservation efforts can save the tiger species from extinction, protect some of the planet's last remaining wild habitats and help sustain the local communities surrounding them. By protecting this iconic species, we can save so much more."
After DiCaprio was briefed by the WWF conservationists about the plight of these majestic animals, they decided to partner on a campaign to help raise awareness about the threats to tigers and raise funds for tiger preservation efforts. In honour of the Chinese Year of the Tiger, an ambitious goal of raising $20 million has been set with the vision of doubling the tiger population by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.
"Tigers are endangered and critical to some of the world's most important ecosystems," says DiCaprio
DiCaprio is travelling to Asia with WWF experts to see the threats tigers face first-hand. He will participate in anti-poaching patrols, meet with park guards on the frontlines of protecting tigers from international traffickers, and explore the best ways to protect these amazing creatures. The Save Tigers Now (www.SaveTigersNow.org ) website will allow supporters to follow DiCaprio's journey and participate in the effort to save tigers.
"Give tigers enough space and protection and they'll recover," said WWF CEO Carter Roberts. "But public support means everything and changing laws and ending demand for tiger parts means we need to tell their story - in places like the U.S., India and China. Which is why this partnership with Leonardo is so important, he can reach the public, tell this story to our children and engage leaders around the world - to save tigers now."