Abstract for: Using Participatory Modeling to Help Wild Tigers: Informing Policies Regarding Tiger Farming and Trade

Only 3,900 tigers remain in the wild worldwide and their continued survival depends on a complex set of factors across local and global scales. A growing consumer market for tiger parts and products makes the conservation of wild tigers even more challenging. More than 7,000 tigers are estimated to be held in captive tiger farms helping to cater to growing demands for tigers – something that many conservation organizations would like to end. Yet, tiger farms and the poaching of wild tigers are part of complex social, economic and ecological systems. The objective of this research is to help conservation practitioners across Asia, the US and Europe, who are involved in tiger conservation to understand the dynamics surrounding tiger farms and minimize negative impacts on wild tigers. Through a participatory system dynamics approach, we are hoping to (a) increase group understanding of the problem and potential solutions, (b) build trust and (c) increase consensus and commitment.