Tigers in Trouble

This week's investigative reporting, analysis and environmental news.
The Revelator
Bengal tiger

No. 111, Dec. 19, 2019

Hello Revelator readers,

Has Laos lost its last tigers? Researchers spent five years looking for evidence that the big cats still live in the Southeast Asian country, with no luck. They've now concluded that tigers there are locally extinct.

Tigers are doing better in Nepal, which has nearly doubled its population of big cats from 121 to 235, but that success has come with a cost. The country doesn't have enough space or prey for its growing tiger population, and that's resulting in dozens of tiger deaths.

How do we carry the emotional burden of news like that? Readers ask me that question all the time, so today's year-end editorial offers a few ways we can help ease the pain and keep fighting.

Subscriber bonus: The Wild 5

Let's go a little deeper. Here are five more stories we're watching this week.

1. International climate talks at COP25 in Madrid came to a disappointing end with negotiators failing to meet their primary goals, highlighting a stark disconnect between the urgency of the issue and the actions of global leaders.

2. The U.S. Forest Service allowed a Canadian company to write a biological assessment determining how its own project — a proposed open-pit gold mine — could affect endangered fish.

3. New research finds that increasing temperatures are changing the timing of birds' cross-country migration, especially during the spring.

4. Oil companies like Exxon have become synonymous with climate denial, but new research shows that the four largest U.S. freight railroads have also spent decades discrediting climate science.

5. Here's the story of three trees that play an outsized role in protecting us from the climate crisis and what scientists are doing to protect them.

In case you missed it:

Don't miss our list of December's best environmental books.

What should we cover in 2020?

Our stories rely on insight from experts and readers around the world, so we always welcome your ideas and inside scoops. Drop us a line anytime.

Coming up:

We're heading into our usual end-of-the-year publishing break, but don't worry — we won't be going far. We're already working on new articles and essays for 2020, and we still have a few surprises in store for you before the end of the year. In fact, we'll be here in your inbox next week with a look back at 2019. You won't want to miss it.

And of course, we'll still be active on Twitter and Facebook, so follow us there to keep the discussion going.

As always, thank you for reading.

John Platt

John R. Platt
Editor, The Revelator


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of Bengal tiger by Bernie Catterall.

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