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China’s wild tigers are moving ever close to extinction and unless something is done, it may be a mere 30 years before they are completely wiped out.

Right now, China’s State Forestry Administration (SFA) estimates that only 50 wild tigers are left: 20 Bengal, 20 Siberian, and 10 Indochinese. Their habitats have been on the decline or, in some  cases, completely destroyed. Humans continue to poach the tigers and their prey, despite the tigers’ critically endangered status.

One tiger may not have even made it this far: the South China tiger. Their numbers were around 4,000 in 1950, but once the late 1970s rolled around, no evidence of their survival in the wild was found and things haven’t changed since. There are a few left in captivity, though, so all hope is not lost.

According to the WWF website, the tiger tops their list of “Ten to Watch in 2010”—a list of the world’s most threatened species. They expect to keep a watchful eye on all tigers this year, especially since there may only be 3,200 wild tigers left in the world. The organization is currently trying to raise awareness by encouraging the government to push people not to hunt the tiger’s main food sources, such as deer and wild boar.

As far as China goes, international trading of tiger bones and similar products was banned in 1993, but dealing with poaching is still a hard task. One good thing, however, is those who are caught poaching or trading illegal items are severely punished. In fact, it was only a month ago when a man shot and killed an Indochinese tiger. The man was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $85,000 (580,000 yuan).

There are a number of websites you can check out that have tons of information on China’s tigers and how you can help them. One site in particular that is definitely worth checking out is Not only is this organization supported by world-reknowned action star, Jackie Chan, they also run breeding programs, reserves and are making attempts to rewild tigers. Plus, there are many options for you to help out as well, including making a donation, adopting a tiger, or directly volunteering at their Laohu Valley Reserve.