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!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

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. For Treecember, we're planting trees that support a global forest fire recovery fund. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reforest lands damaged by record-setting fires
  • Support healthy habitat for iconic biodiversity
  • Plant tree species that will help reduce future fire impact
  • This holiday season, we’re planting trees in areas around the world that have been severely affected by forest fires and aren't able to recover a healthy ecosystem on their own. The most common naturally-caused wildfires occur during droughts or dry weather, and under these circumstances, trees and other vegetation are converted to flammable fuel. Human-caused forest fires can be a result of various activities like unregulated slash and burn agriculture, equipment failure or engine sparks, and discarded cigarettes.

    After wildfires, reforestation is essential in areas where the fire intensity burned off available seed supply within the soil, and/or where there are not enough healthy trees still growing and producing new seeds nearby. Reforestation starts once professional assessments have been made to determine where human intervention would be the most ecologically beneficial. Help restore these vital ecosystems by planting a tree. 🌿
  • Every year, forest fires are increasing in size and severity, damaging vital ecosystems and creating a need for millions of trees. Some major consequences of forest fires include significant loss of wildlife, loss of vegetation, soil erosion, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

    With so much fire damage, reforestation is essential to catalyze the environmental recovery process. The trees are carefully planted to prevent invasive species from colonizing burn scars and restore quality habitat for native biodiversity. One Tree Planted is connecting with on-the-ground partners to establish viable reforestation projects when the recently affected regions are ready for planting. This fund will contribute to planting projects in British Columbia, Idaho, Ghana, Portugal, and beyond. Let's get to work! 🌲
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • To maximize the impact of your donation, our partners on the ground will determine the most appropriate species of tree and shrubs. We only plant native tree species that will restore the local ecosystem, re-establish wildlife habitat, and reduce the likelihood of future fires.

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