I have just come home from the 16th meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, where most of the 178 member nations to CITES had once again gathered. The mood could hardly have been more different. During the meeting, parties to CITES afforded increased protection for a wide range of species in international commercial trade, mostly by consensus.
There are wider, less obvious dangers, which are threatening both the tiger and the islanders. Erosion and siltation are clogging the rivers, leading to growing salinity of the area's soils as the flow of freshwater is reduced - a problem compounded by rising sea levels as the effects of climate change kick in.
Giant pandas are charismatic, fascinating creatures. From a biological perspective, I find them so very interesting. I really like them. And yet, I think it may be the time to let them drift off into extinction or, at the very least, reconsider our approach to their conservation. I do not say this lightly.
The tiger is one of the most iconic of wild animals. Sleek, magnificent and instantly recognisable, the tiger has become immortalised in the legends, values and lore of many human cultures. Works of William Blake, A.A. Milne and Walt Disney have established the tiger as an object of fascination and endearment.
There is currently a golden opportunity to get the Hunting Act changed as David Cameron as called for a free vote on it. I very much hope that it is before the police finally take action against me. Until that point I shall continue proudly refusing to kill any wildlife on my property as I believe should be my right.
As the manager of a charitable fund people often comment that it must be a little like playing God. Certainly I've had responses from unsuccessful applicants telling me that my decision will result in children starving, which is not the kind of message anyone wants to see in their inbox. But how do you choose which projects to fund and who to help?