Thursday, July 18, 2013

NT4TC Blog #2

Hello everyone. Since the last post NT4TC has been very busy. We are now expanding our campaign to ensure the re-authorization of the Tiger Stamp before the end of the Congressional fiscal year on September 31st by putting up posters in our local post offices. Buying a Tiger Stamp for only 9 cents more than a standard stamp is a great way to help save tigers in the wild. Since it was created in September of 2011, more than 21 million stamps have been sold, generating more than $2 million in funds to the save tigers and other endangered species. Not only does the stamp allow ordinary citizens to help save tigers but it also shows how much Americans care these beautiful and majestic creatures. You can help NT4TC’s campaign to re-authorize the Tiger stamp by buying the stamp at your local post office or and going to the take action page of our website: where you can contact your Congressional representatives by signing the Wildlife Conservation Society’s letter. NT4TC will be sending a press release out to newspapers across the country to raise awareness and support for the stamp in the near future so be on the lookout for that.
      We would also like to let you know about some exciting news. Two weeks ago, during his trip to Africa, President Obama issued an executive statement increasing America’s support in combating the international poaching plague that is ravaging animals throughout the world. In his executive order, Obama pledged $10 million and established a taskforce within the US government to develop a plan to dismantle the illegal wildlife trade throughout the world. According to Obama the executive order was needed because “the survival of protected wildlife species such as elephants, rhinos, great apes, tigers, sharks, tuna, and turtles has beneficial economic, social, and environmental impacts that are important to all nations.” This is great news for tigers and may help the NT4TC’s campaign to transfer $50 million to the USFWS’ Multinational Species Conservation Fund. You can read the full executive order at and express your support for his actions by mailing him a letter thanking him for showing leadership in conserving endangered species throughout the world including our beloved tiger. Hopefully, Obama’s actions will inspire Congress to follow his lead and approve the $50 million transfer to maximize the impact of campaign against wildlife trafficking.
In other exciting news, NT4TC national coordinator Sean Carnell has been given funding that will allow him to work full time for the coalition. Sean got a job as an advisor for the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA). His leadership has been instrumental in creating the national coalition and will guide us as we grow in size and influence.

      We have begun our social media campaign to educate and inform people about tigers and the work that the coalition and other great organizations are doing to protect them. We have learned that the all-star game start by Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, a graduate of the University of Missouri and big supporter of tiger conservation, has had an amazing season going 13-1 so far this season. Max was given the honor of starting the all-star game, which the AL won 3-0. Not only is Max Scherzer a supporter of saving tigers, so is his team, the Detroit Tigers, who have shown support to re-authorize the Tiger Stamp! 

     Check out our updated website with lots of new features and videos to inform anyone interested in the coalition and remember to like us on Facebook or follow us on twitter (if you haven’t already) for up to the minute information about the coalition.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Welcome to the National Tigers for Tigers Coalition!

Blog #1: June, 2013

Chelsea Connor with Doc, Towson MD
Welcome! My name is Chelsea Connor and I joined Tigers for Tigers (T4T) this year when I participated in the first National Tigers for Tigers Coalition in April. I am from Towson University, home of our tiger mascot Doc, as a pre-vet and animal behavior major. I was thrilled when another pre-vet major, and friend of mine, told me about T4T. Being in South Carolina to see other schools and students so excited to get involved was empowering and really confirmed my reasons for wanting to help save animals. Plus, being a proud Towson Tiger myself, I felt some responsibility to help our tiger mascot Doc during his time of need just like his has lifted my spirits at games. I mean, I don’t just paint tiger stripes on my face, wear black and gold or roar the fiercest roar I can manage for nothing. I do it, because the tiger symbolizes more than a mascot to me, it symbolizes a sense of being. We show pride, a majestic presence and respect towards our fellow competitors, but we also work hard to show our fierce teeth and our loud roar so our challengers know who’s going to win in the end. So I’m here because I owe it to my mascot, my school and myself to repay the honor of being a tiger every day. If we don’t fight for them, who will? Just like the tiger we are beautiful, powerful, and brave and we will earn our stripes.

"Real Life, Real Learning", Cobleskill, NY
My name is Kevin O’Day. I joined NT4TC earlier this year as a freshman at SUNY Cobleskill. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved big cats. In fact, I chose to attend Cobleskill because it has a tiger as a mascot, even before I knew about NT4TC. The coalition is important to me because it allows me to help save endangered wildlife while still in college. All species have the right to exist but saving tigers is especially important because they are so critically important to the ecological and cultural health of Asia and the world. I believe that if we as a species are unable to save tigers from extinction, we will have little hope of solving any of the problems that face us in the future and that NT4TC will be successful if we are able to motivate and mobilize the youth to take charge of their future and save this magnificent species. In order to expand the coalition I will be establishing a Tigers 4 Tigers Club at Cobleskill next semester.

The National Tigers for Tigers Coalition is a student led organization dedicated to the existence of our majestic, but endangered mascot, the tiger. Currently, we are formed from a collaboration of student groups of 12 tiger mascot colleges and universities from across the country with more to add. Through education, outreach and international programs, Tigers for Tigers works to utilize the power, creativity, and motivation of college students. The collaborative effort of the National Tigers for Tigers Coalition is focused on developing initiatives that reach a national scale to save the tiger from extinction.

This week 12 members of the National Tigers 4 Tigers Coalition went to Washington D.C. on June 12th and 13th, where we met with staff of congressmen and lobbied for the passage of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (H.R.1998), which would ban private ownership of big cats throughout America. We also lobbied for the transference of $50 million from the State Department, USAID to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to tackle the poaching crisis that is threatening the current existence of the tigers. Lastly, we advocated for the re-authorization of the Save Vanishing Species Stamp, which brings additional money into the USFWS to support endangered species protection efforts.

Meeting with Missouri's Legislative Assistant
One of the surprising facts that we learned during our trip was that the wildlife trade is a significant threat to the security of nations around the globe. Rhino horn is the most valuable substance on the planet followed by tiger bone, and elephant ivory. Together, these items are being used to fund terrorist organizations. With huge price tags on these wild animals, drug, arms or terrorist syndicates have prepared and trained poachers to do their dirty work, showing us how easy it is to kill even with law enforcement officials protecting the area. Clearly, there is a need for more officers who are trained, prepared and aware of the situation to even the playing field. Until then, when these terrorist organizations get tiger parts, rhino horn or ivory in their hands they sell it to Chinese markets in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars that can be used to fund attacks on America or other countries across the world. One example of this is Al Qaeda in North Africa, which is funded largely through elephant ivory.

Meeting with Louisiana's Legislative Assistant
Photo with Senator Tim Scott, South Carolina
Do not let these unfortunate facts get the best of you though. While in D.C., the congressmen seemed very receptive to the idea of a bipartisan vote for the protection of tigers and we are likely going to be returning next month to talk with more congressmen for more support. You can also help us out by writing your own tiger letter to let your congressmen know about this dire situation! Remember your congressmen works for you! So let him or her know what is important to you. We can only save the tiger with your help, your friend’s help, your family’s help and even your pet cat Fluffy’s help. To get more involved, join us on facebook and follow us on twitter to learn more about this issue. Our website also contains information on tigers, awareness and involvement that you can easily access to answer any questions you have. Together we can be a more powerful force than the poachers could ever be. But in order for that to happen we need to stick together, spread the word, write to our congressmen and continue to fight for the most majestic animal in the Asian forests.

Save the Tigers,
Chelsea L. Connor (Towson University, MD)
Kevin O’Day (SUNY Cobleskill, NY)
National Tigers for Tigers Coalition