Discovery Communications has announced an ambitious partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that will not only see it fund and conserve a nearly one million acre tiger site in India and Bhutan, but also create content and produce a documentary from Grain Media focused on tigers that will air around-the-world in support of the project.
Called ‘Project C.A.T. (Conservation Acres for Tigers),’ the partnership with WWF aims to protect and increase the wild tiger population, which has dropped by 96% in the last century alone to only 4,000 left in the wild due to habitat loss and pervasive poaching.
Discovery’s stewardship of the one million acre site will bolster WWF’s conservation partnerships with governments in India and Bhutan by allowing rangers to more closely monitor tiger health and other key scientific data, take additional anti-poaching safeguards and maintain land and corridors to improve movement of all wild animals.
Along with its sponsorship of the habitat, which will also protect other endangered species and stimulate a healthy ecosystem across the sprawling protected site, Discovery will leverage its creative capabilities and global multiplatform distribution of channels, which it says reaches three billion cumulative worldwide viewers, to support WWF’s Tx2 effort. It was initiated in 2010 in an attempt to double the population of wild tigers across the world by 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.
Discovery will create original public service announcements and in-program content tied to ‘Project C.A.T.’ to drive awareness and encourage viewers aroud the world to take action to support wild tigers. And to further reinforce its commitment, Discovery has also put a new documentary on tigers into development from Orlando von Einsiedel’s prodco Grain Media, the Academy Award-nominated producers of Virunga . It will air on Discovery’s networks globally in 2018.
“For more than 30 years we’ve had cameras in every corner of the globe, from Planet Earth to Racing Extinction, documenting and inspiring audiences about the beauty and splendor of our planet. Unfortunately, our cameras also have captured the fragile state of much of the world and its animals,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, in a statement. “So today we take a bold step further, beyond the lens, to protect one of our most iconic and endangered species. Not on our watch will we let these beautiful animals disappear from the world. We will shine a light on this compelling cause and amplify it through our global brands and platforms with the goal of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022.”