Number of wild tigers could treble

Last updated at 07:41
TigerGetty Images/AFP

The number of tigers living in the wild could rise in the next twenty years.

At the moment there are only around three-thousand wild tigers living in Asia.

The WWF believe that's 97% fewer than there were 100 years ago.

Now experts say that number could treble if action is taken to protect their habitats.

Tiger yawningGetty Images
Tigers can be found in 13 different countries around the world

Tiger populations have been affected by hunting, poaching and the loss of their habitats, to make way for roads, railways and towns.

Four of the sub-species of tigers are thought to be endangered and two are listed as 'critically' threatened.

Tiger skinsGetty Images
Tigers are poached for their skin, which some people use as decoration or rugs

But experts in the US say the population could grow.

A team at the University of Minnesota in the US have studied satellite images of places where tigers live, like forests.

The technology has helped identify specifically where tigers are losing their habitat.

They say that if the animals are given special 'corridors' or areas to make their territory bigger, the numbers could treble.

Dr Anup Joshi said: " Enough wild habitat remains to allow a range-wide doubling of the wild tiger population."

"The global population could approach a trebling in the next two decades." he added.