Transcript of RuneScape Podcast #57: WWF Special

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[00:08] hi and welcome to this week's podcast
[00:10] I'm mod Matt hey and as part of our work
[00:14] with big cats this week we're focusing
[00:16] on Tigers in our podcast tiger numbers
[00:19] have been steadily declining for decades
[00:21] and it's estimated their numbers have
[00:23] dropped around ninety-seven percent
[00:24] since 1900 so today we're joined by
[00:27] Joseph who is a derrida refs Tiger
[00:30] expert I am Joseph i'll be happy to
[00:33] interact with you and are to any
[00:35] questions you might have brilliant well
[00:38] could you tell me a bit more about
[00:39] yourself for the listeners of our
[00:41] podcast I work with a double-double use
[00:45] global initiative for tigers known as
[00:47] the Tigers alive initiative right and
[00:49] I'm principally a biologist trained in
[00:54] research methods and on the Tigers
[00:56] behavior and ecology and I work within
[00:58] the team largely at advising on how
[01:01] Tigers can be recovered within the
[01:03] principal Tyga landscapes present in the
[01:06] different Tiger inch countries we have
[01:08] 13 different Tyga range countries in
[01:11] Asia so i coordinate the efforts of WWF
[01:13] in these countries here okay so what are
[01:15] vocal range can see what does that
[01:17] phrase mean ah the tiger range countries
[01:20] are 13 countries in which Tigers have
[01:22] found the East include Russia China
[01:24] India Nepal Bhutan Bangladesh Myanmar
[01:28] Indonesia Malaysia and Sumatra right so
[01:34] please make up the 13 Tiger inch
[01:37] countries where Tigers are found today
[01:39] they were found much more earlier they
[01:42] had a much wider range but today they're
[01:44] restricted to just these 13 tiger inch
[01:46] countries yeah right so over time with
[01:48] the threats the ecology the range is
[01:51] being shrunk over time yeah that's right
[01:53] not just their range but as you
[01:54] mentioned the tiger numbers aren't so
[01:57] drastically reduced I mean they start to
[02:00] have been a hundred thousand Tigers 100
[02:02] years before right today there are less
[02:04] and less than 3,500 Tigers and they are
[02:08] just restricted to these 13 tiger range
[02:10] countries whereas earlier they
[02:13] the range was also much larger and
[02:15] there's all there has been almost ninety
[02:17] three percent reduction in their ranges
[02:20] weather is definitely the tiger is
[02:22] extremely threatened today yeah so what
[02:26] this hike is eat well Tigers principal
[02:29] eat large ungulates angle its meaning
[02:33] hoofed animals these fall within the
[02:35] category of deer and wild pigs and
[02:38] bullets which include the wild cattle so
[02:41] these could include animal such as the
[02:43] spotted deer and the somebody or in
[02:45] India this could include other animals
[02:49] such as rodier and red deer and wild
[02:52] boar in the Russian Far East they could
[02:55] include animals such as step ears and
[02:57] small areas such as moon Jack's in
[02:59] Southeast Asia so it's largely deer and
[03:03] wild pigs and while cattle the Tigers
[03:05] feed on right okay so one of the biggest
[03:08] threats Tigers now what why is wild like
[03:11] quite so threatened I would say the
[03:13] principal threat is poaching you know
[03:16] there's a there's still a great demand
[03:17] for almost every part of the tiger in
[03:20] traditional medicine it's believed that
[03:23] every part has some use and because of
[03:26] which a tiger that is killed and
[03:28] especially from the wild finds use
[03:30] within these traditional markets and and
[03:34] various uses so you might be surprised
[03:37] that there's tiger wine there's you know
[03:39] stuff made of Tiger whiskers Tiger bones
[03:42] that that for that comes into use
[03:45] largely within the tiger range countries
[03:47] but it was an outside and as you know
[03:51] must be knowing that illegal wildlife
[03:52] trade is you know is a huge business
[03:54] yeah apart from narcotics and illegal
[03:57] arms so so is this definite underground
[04:00] market for wildlife products and
[04:02] especially for Tiger products so
[04:04] poaching is a big threat but apart from
[04:06] poaching habitat destruction and habitat
[04:08] loss you know because of conversion of
[04:10] tiger habitats to agriculture due to
[04:13] development you know the ratio is
[04:15] developing at a very fast pace and and
[04:16] when that happens sometimes tiger
[04:18] habitats are lost and compromised so
[04:21] these are to make threats to tigers
[04:23] currently to individual targets have
[04:25] naturally a large range
[04:26] man's man's agricultural efforts
[04:29] interfere with them yeah i mean the
[04:30] tiger by its very eve what you at the
[04:33] top of the food chain and because of its
[04:36] biological needs requires a large area
[04:39] to be able to be to sustain its needs so
[04:44] because for example a single tiger in in
[04:47] let's say India would need more than 150
[04:50] square kilometers if it's a male tiger
[04:52] sometimes as much as 300 square
[04:54] kilometer for just one tiger right which
[04:56] means this is a large area within which
[04:58] it needs a certain amount of prey that
[05:01] needs to eat mate with a certain number
[05:03] of females and those females again would
[05:05] need a certain large area to raise their
[05:08] cubs yeah so by what you have these
[05:09] needs Tigers need large home ranges and
[05:12] sometimes these are in conflict with
[05:15] people because they happen to be some of
[05:18] the best productive habitats habitats
[05:20] that support very good play are also
[05:22] happen to be happy yeah it's that a very
[05:24] good for agriculture yeah so sometimes
[05:26] these are in conflict here so why is how
[05:29] is important well we clearly think
[05:32] Tigers are important because in several
[05:34] surveys that have been done in choosing
[05:36] what people thought were their most
[05:39] favorite animal the Tigers came out
[05:41] first in mini several such survey so
[05:43] virtually the the tiger is a charismatic
[05:46] animal that draws people's attention for
[05:49] various reasons for its mystery for its
[05:50] paw for what it the fact that it's right
[05:54] on top of the food chain so clearly in
[05:56] the human psyche the tiger is valuable
[05:58] but looking at it scientifically there
[06:00] are other reasons being on top of the
[06:02] food chain they control the prey that
[06:04] found in a certain habitat because of
[06:07] which the balance is kept in the
[06:08] ecosystem we talked about the fact that
[06:11] Tigers need a large area to sustain
[06:13] themselves yeah and because of this when
[06:16] we conserve a tiger we are able to
[06:18] conserve much more than this Tigers we
[06:20] are able to conserve several other
[06:22] smaller cats that are found within its
[06:25] range the prey community and several
[06:27] other animals which fall under the
[06:29] umbrella of tiger conservation so by the
[06:31] fact that Tigers are an umbrella species
[06:33] and charismatic species that we value
[06:36] what we call the flagship species yeah
[06:39] we
[06:40] able to conserve far more than just
[06:41] Tigers and because of all these reasons
[06:43] Tigers are extremely valuable yes that
[06:45] they've almost totemic creatures that
[06:48] allow you to do lots of other work while
[06:50] saving them directly that's right in
[06:52] Asia they are actually worshiped and in
[06:54] several communities and several
[06:56] countries still clearly the tiger is
[06:59] valued more than just a popular animal
[07:01] and by cashing in on that value we are
[07:04] able to conserve tigers besides
[07:07] scientific reasons there are enough
[07:08] scientific reasons suggest that the
[07:10] tiger is a very important animal to
[07:11] conserve yeah but there's much more than
[07:14] that which is which works in the favor
[07:15] of tiger conservation which benefits
[07:17] other animals as well yeah so could you
[07:20] tell us a bit more about what WTF are
[07:22] currently doing to save target well WWF
[07:25] works in all the principal principal
[07:28] important landscapes that have been
[07:29] identified for tigers and as you might
[07:32] know WF also is is pushing the effort
[07:37] towards what is known as teen 22 or
[07:39] doubling the Tigers numbers because as
[07:42] we talk tiger numbers have come down
[07:44] substantially in the past few years so
[07:47] WTF works with pushing the tiger inch
[07:50] countries to double the number of tigers
[07:52] and yet works within these principal
[07:54] landscapes and several aspects you know
[07:55] an address in conflict working with
[07:57] communities to help the protection of
[08:00] these sites along with the government's
[08:03] so in you know in all the different
[08:05] aspects that you can think of in Tiger
[08:07] Conservation double W has been involved
[08:09] in all these principal landscapes and
[08:12] within these 13 Tiger range countries so
[08:15] why the focus on doubling I'm not saving
[08:19] is a concept oh yeah that's a good
[08:22] question you know as we talked the tiger
[08:25] numbers have drastically declined yeah
[08:28] in the last few years and we know that
[08:32] from 100,000 Tigers we down to 3,200 our
[08:35] Tigers so clearly if you go with
[08:38] business as usual we are not going to
[08:40] conserve the Tigers it's clearly a down
[08:41] what trend so in 2010 in what is known
[08:47] as the st. Petersburg summit these
[08:50] different Tyga range countries met and
[08:52] decided that
[08:53] they we need a very ambitious goal if
[08:55] we're going to not really de Klerk the
[08:58] decline of tiger numbers yeah but if the
[09:00] tiger is to have any chance we will need
[09:03] to look at a target that is beyond you
[09:07] know business as usual yeah yeah that's
[09:11] right so to reverse that decline we set
[09:14] a very ambitious target that is to
[09:17] double the number of tigers when you say
[09:18] we the a grinch country set it and
[09:21] double-doubles essentially supports that
[09:23] goal of doubling Tigers here so it's the
[09:27] plan that all target countries need to
[09:29] double their target numbers or is it
[09:31] more complicated than that um the the
[09:33] goal is a global goal so while each
[09:36] country need not double the the final
[09:39] goal would be to double so certain
[09:41] countries will not be able to double
[09:42] because of virtue of their biological
[09:43] potential they are social scenario the
[09:46] political will but the global goal will
[09:49] be to double so each country nino double
[09:51] but the final goal will be to double
[09:53] yeah okay and offered 2022 mentioned
[09:56] just go and so do you expect to save go
[10:00] too much double to six thousand titles
[10:02] by 2022 is that is that an achievable
[10:04] goal for the bitter beer yeah so this
[10:08] the 2022 that is put as a target is
[10:12] because in 2010 which was the last
[10:15] Chinese year of the tiger the decision
[10:17] was taken among these different Tyga
[10:20] range countries right that by the next
[10:22] year of the tiger which which is in 2022
[10:25] they will aim to double the number of
[10:27] tigers so yes the idea is to double
[10:30] number of tigers by 2022 I is it
[10:32] possible you are asking yes it is
[10:34] possible scientifically as been looked
[10:37] at by various scientists that this goal
[10:38] is very much achievable but whether we
[10:41] will be able to get there will depend on
[10:43] what kind of political will these Tiger
[10:46] inch countries have so yes the target is
[10:49] very much achievable in theory but it
[10:51] will depend on how much that are the
[10:53] different Tyga range countries are
[10:54] willing to invest in terms of money and
[10:56] political will for us to be able to get
[10:58] there and the use of the year of the
[11:00] tiger right I suppose means something to
[11:02] the target range countries as well well
[11:04] it is it was originally the Chinese year
[11:06] of the tide
[11:07] oh yeah which comes every 12 years but
[11:10] it was thought to be a good enough
[11:13] target the urge to be able to look at
[11:15] this ambitious goal so it does now it
[11:18] does mean mean something for all the
[11:20] different Tyga range countries because
[11:22] that is going to be the year in which
[11:24] they are hoping to double tiger numbers
[11:26] here yeah I happen to be born in the
[11:28] year of the tiger as well oh so that's
[11:31] great David so that's a very significant
[11:34] here for you and maybe that's why you
[11:35] are contributing towards yeah so what
[11:41] WWF throw going to be as part of this
[11:44] effort then WWF has been working with
[11:47] these range countries that have
[11:50] committed committed to double the number
[11:51] of tigers and I've been pushing the
[11:53] political momentum towards this and
[11:56] ensuring that it is kept up as I said
[11:59] besides pushing the range countries
[12:01] towards this goal we work in all the
[12:04] principally important Tiger landscapes
[12:07] in every aspect of Tiger Conservation
[12:09] besides working with the managers on
[12:13] aspects such as protection we also work
[12:15] with communities on how they can be
[12:17] involved towards this goal yeah you know
[12:19] Asia is developing at a very quick pace
[12:21] in terms of the human population in
[12:23] terms of development so we look at how
[12:25] all of this can be still integrated into
[12:28] people's well being without compromising
[12:31] on the Tigers future so we are very much
[12:35] working with all with the range
[12:37] governments and all these aspects
[12:38] towards Tiger recovery and towards teen
[12:41] 22 and what have been the successes so
[12:44] far well there have been some recent
[12:47] positive developments that indicate that
[12:48] we are moving towards this target some
[12:51] of the big countries so as to say among
[12:53] these 12 countries as far as Tiger
[12:56] numbers are concerned such as India
[12:58] Russia Nepal in the recent tiger surveys
[13:01] have shown an increase in tiger numbers
[13:03] so that is something that is positive
[13:05] news yeah in the last decision in India
[13:08] they were the estimate was over two
[13:11] thousand Tigers the earlier estimate was
[13:14] about thousand seven hundred and one
[13:15] before that was a 1400 right so so
[13:19] certainly some things are happening
[13:20] right and Tiger numbers are increasing
[13:22] in in Nepal they've recorded close over
[13:26] fifty percent increase so that is very
[13:28] good news as well as they've claimed two
[13:32] years where they've had zero poaching so
[13:34] that's something that's encouraging as
[13:36] well and hopefully they'll be able to
[13:37] sit in it Russia has declared over 500
[13:41] tigers the last count was 540 Tigers so
[13:45] clearly in many aspects where we are
[13:47] engaging a tiger conservation is working
[13:50] yeah and and tiger numbers are
[13:52] increasing so as we as we hit the mid
[13:56] year which is in 2016 yeah there are
[14:00] successes that we can talk about and be
[14:03] proud about here brilliant so you're
[14:05] through interest from India said I and
[14:07] you've said India's had really great
[14:09] success already what how is India been
[14:12] so successful in their conservation well
[14:15] I would say one factor has been a very
[14:17] strong political will because India
[14:20] today has over over 50 tiger reserves
[14:24] you know these tiger reserves are
[14:25] principally where Tigers are found in
[14:27] the protected areas yeah stagger
[14:30] reserves were actually started out by
[14:32] the then prime minister indira gandhi in
[14:34] the 1970s yeah and I mean it was just
[14:38] started out with nine odd reserves and
[14:40] today there are over 50 reserves even
[14:43] today when Tigers have decreased in some
[14:46] sites the Prime Minister in recent times
[14:48] has been involved and those sites where
[14:51] Tigers were lost were quickly recovered
[14:53] showing that India is very keen on quick
[14:57] recovery of tiger numbers yeah so one
[15:00] thing is political will second I would
[15:02] say is that there is besides all the
[15:04] efforts taken towards protection in
[15:06] India there is a certain social fabric
[15:08] that does you know tremendously
[15:10] encourage tiger conservation is an
[15:13] aspect that's not been often discussed
[15:15] but you know a large part of India is
[15:18] vegetarian a large part of India when
[15:19] the tiger landscape shows immense
[15:21] tolerance for tigers yeah many a time
[15:23] when Tigers come into conflict with
[15:24] people with cattle with wildlife still
[15:27] those tigers are tolerated within the
[15:29] landscape there
[15:32] several tigers breeding outside tiger
[15:34] reserves in India it's thought that as
[15:35] much as one fourth of the tiger
[15:37] population may be outside these tiger
[15:39] reserves so clearly these are animals
[15:42] that are tolerated by people here often
[15:45] in very close proximity to their homes
[15:47] even at the cost of the fact that they
[15:49] might come into conflict many countries
[15:53] would not allow it because of fear of
[15:55] the Tigers being there yeah and also
[15:57] there is in many countries a large
[16:00] amount of you know demand for wild meat
[16:04] which leads to depletion of the Tigers
[16:06] play there's not so much of that
[16:07] anything yeah along with the tolerance
[16:10] for these wild beasts so all these
[16:13] factors have ensured that tiger numbers
[16:15] have increased and are doing well in
[16:18] India in fact India has more than
[16:19] seventy percent of today's the Tigers in
[16:22] the world so clearly there is something
[16:24] that's happening right in India yeah
[16:25] that's incredible so what's the next
[16:27] state for preservation efforts then for
[16:30] the tiger well like we said you know we
[16:33] are looking at a very ambitious goal of
[16:35] teen 22 yeah we're we're thinking of not
[16:37] just saving or preserving Tigers for
[16:39] trying to recover an increase in double
[16:41] tiger numbers so clearly we cannot just
[16:44] relax as earlier or we cannot go as per
[16:48] earlier efforts along with that we see
[16:52] that the population human population in
[16:55] India and in many Asian countries will
[16:56] only increase development will only
[16:58] increase there's going to be roads
[17:00] railway lines mining projects within
[17:03] type of landscape so all of these are
[17:05] going to be challenges because we cannot
[17:07] say no to these people need to develop
[17:09] so the future is going to look at how as
[17:12] these developments and human population
[17:15] increases still tiger numbers can be
[17:17] conserved within these sites
[17:18] additionally with this ambitious goal of
[17:20] trying to increase tiger numbers we met
[17:22] with an even bigger challenge so while
[17:25] it is shown that it is still
[17:27] scientifically possible to achieve that
[17:29] goal of doubling numbers we will need to
[17:32] take people's needs very much into
[17:35] consideration and tiger conservation
[17:37] will no longer be the realm of just
[17:39] Tiger conservationists but we'll need to
[17:41] feature in all you know much bigger
[17:44] plants in the
[17:45] implants and it needs to be mainstreamed
[17:47] if that goes all any chance in the
[17:49] future yeah you need to really consider
[17:51] how we managed to cohabit that's right
[17:54] that's right it is going to be a future
[17:55] for both divers and people together we
[17:58] cannot look at it in isolation anymore
[18:00] brilliant well thanks very much to it if
[18:03] for joining s thank you so obviously
[18:05] over these couple weeks we're supporting
[18:07] WTF in their big cats effort our players
[18:10] who who might be listening you can
[18:12] donate to the charity in game using
[18:14] runescape bonds and help Joseph in his
[18:16] work to conserve the tiger thanks very
[18:19] much Joseph and now we can have a chat
[18:20] with the developer who's been working on
[18:23] there on the big cat project for Reese
[18:25] cape so now I'm back on the surface with
[18:27] mods do hi mods do hello so tell us more
[18:30] about the in-game WTF event so this will
[18:33] be a month-long event it started last
[18:36] week where we were asking questions
[18:38] about Jaguars yeah now it's taco day on
[18:41] Wednesday it is forgiven and we will be
[18:43] on asking questions about Tigers the
[18:46] purpose of the event is to raise
[18:47] awareness of big cats okay so where will
[18:50] the event take place in runescape so
[18:52] we've added a conservationist in pc near
[18:54] the birth of lodestone you'll be able to
[18:56] find them very easily he's standing on a
[18:58] podium he's surrounded by some adorable
[18:59] Baquet cubs and you can talk to him
[19:02] start the event brilliant so are there
[19:04] any player item requirements paper there
[19:06] are no requirements free-to-play can
[19:08] play this as well so what new features
[19:10] have been added to the game to support
[19:12] WWF so we're taking over the drop for
[19:16] the duration of this event I'll jobs
[19:17] brilliant i love the drop yeah so we've
[19:19] kind of made a variant version hood yeah
[19:21] the drop big cats edition as it were and
[19:23] you can talk to the conservationists on
[19:26] the hour and on the half hour to go to
[19:29] this alternate version of the drop if
[19:32] there's a game open on your world then
[19:34] you'll go there and join it with people
[19:36] there but this is also saleable there's
[19:38] nobody else around write a check and
[19:40] instead of the random questions that the
[19:42] drop usually asks there'll be a series
[19:45] of linear questions of increasing
[19:47] difficulty on the subject of big cats
[19:50] and rider endangerment okay and what
[19:53] Ward's can you receive from this new
[19:56] drop then so for each question that you
[19:58] so correctly you'll receive a point that
[20:00] you can use in the conservationists
[20:02] sanctuary to unlock various rewards
[20:04] there are three feet land theme titles
[20:07] and there are companion Cubs that use
[20:10] the companion pits interface to let you
[20:14] override your familiars and you can also
[20:17] use a beast of burden pouch on any of
[20:19] those Cubs to give them the beasts of
[20:21] burden ability of a legendary pit that's
[20:23] amazing there are four cubs available a
[20:26] lion tiger Jaguar and snow leopard right
[20:29] okay okay and I hear players can donate
[20:32] bones as well to help the efforts yes
[20:34] the lion and curb you can unlock by
[20:37] donating one bond and the snow leopard
[20:39] by donating five bonds you donate bonds
[20:42] by talking to the conservationist and he
[20:44] will give you a gift box in return that
[20:46] you can open for seven treasure hunter
[20:48] keys to get back some of the return on
[20:50] your investment so that's brilliant so
[20:52] our players will be able to go in game
[20:54] play the drop earn these companions and
[20:57] also help w the ref at the same time
[20:59] exactly that's pretty fate formats
[21:01] monster and now to the Tigers bye I