The One Tree Planted Show:

More Tigers in Captivity Than in the Wild

Kaylee Brzezinski | June 09, 2020 | 2 min read

Today on the One Tree Planted Show...

We spoke with National Geographic's Sharon Guynup and Steve Winter to discuss the illegal wildlife trade, captive tigers, and the Tiger King. If you're into photography, wildlife, or are a National Geographic connoisseur this episode is for you!

In December 2019, Sharon Guynup and Steve Winter released a feature in National Geographic Magazine documenting captive tigers across the United States. The article was both fascinating and disturbing. Captive tigers in the U.S. outnumber those in the wild. It's a problem. Reading the piece now feels almost like what Netflix's Tiger King should have been, a deep dive into the world of illicit animal products, exotic animal breeding, and asking whether captive tigers ever have a conservation value.

So are you team Exotic Joe or Team Carol Baskin? Well, if you're team Joe we are sorry to report that the experts say Baskin is in fact on the good guy side of conservation. Find out what they had to say about Big Cat Rescue as well as some of the other organizations featured on Tiger King. 

We learned more about why wildlife trade, especially for tigers can be so lucrative and got Guynup and Winter's expert views about how illegal and legal wildlife trade affects us all. Guynup says, "Few people realize that the United States is the second largest consumer of illegal wildlife products."

More About Guynup and Winter

Sharon Guynup is a journalist and author who focuses her work on environmental issues. She’s travelled widely through Asia, Latin America, and Africa to cover wildlife and ecosystems, energy and climate change, and the effect pollution has on living things. For the last few years, much of her work has delved into poaching and “wildlife crime” — the lucrative, global, cartel-driven illegal wildlife trade.

Steve Winter is a legendary Nat Geo photographer with a number of iconic, story-driven photos in his portfolio. Among the numerous awards Steve has won are BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, first prize in the Nature Story category from World Press Photo— twice—and also two times Picture of the Year International’s Global Vision Award.

Tiger laying down in the sun

We are thankful to have been able to sit down and chat with two experts at the top of their fields. Be sure to check out the entire episode to hear more about the history of their careers, animal conservation, and of course tigers!

Don't forget to like and subscribe to the One Tree Planted Channel where we interview people with unique experiences or expertise related to sustainability.

And if you're looking to make positive environmental impact today, plant a tree with us!

Longleaf Pine Main Image
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Longleaf Pine Tree Planter
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Longleaf Pine Landscape
Longleaf Pine Planting
Longleaf Pine Main Image
Longleaf Pine Restoration
Longleaf Pine Tree Planter
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Longleaf Pine Landscape
Longleaf Pine Planting

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting Longleaf Pine Restoration. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Protect wildlife habitat and increase biodiversity
  • Restore essential watersheds for soil stability and erosion control
  • Sequester carbon in the biomass of the forests through climate stability
  • Longleaf pine forests are among the most biodiverse in North America and provide habitat for numerous threatened and endangered species. Longleaf pine forests are well-adapted to a warming climate as longleaf pine is a resilient species that is fire-dependent, drought-tolerant, and long-lived. Reforestation of longleaf pine ecosystems- to increase, maintain, and enhance the species- has been identified as a priority area within America's Longleaf Range Wide Conservation Plan. 🌲
  • Our longleaf pine reforestation project will restore habitats, control soil erosion, and sequester carbon in an effort to stabilize the climate in the area. Not only will wildlife benefit from the clean air and water provided by the planted trees, but the surrounding community will, too. This project will work with a variety of landowners whose responsible forest management and stewardship will only further increase the benefits for species residing on the lands. Some of the most notable species that will benefit from habitat restoration include gopher tortoises, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and eastern indigo snakes
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about our Longleaf Pine Restoration project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the ground!
  • We always plant a mix of diverse, native species from local nurseries. This project is working to replenish longleaf forests, so the native species grown in the nurseries will mainly be longleaf pine, but also include shortleaf pine and loblolly pine.

Sign Up to our Newsletter

Get good news, reforestation updates, planting event information, and more delivered right to your inbox.