British-based Environmental Investigation Agency has reported a still thriving illegal tiger skin trade in China. More details, from BBC:
In just 21 days the team was offered four full tiger skins, 12 leopard skins, 11 snow leopard skins and two clouded leopard skins as well as associated bones and teeth from the species.
“It’s really quite significant,” says EIA spokesperson Alasdair Cameron.
“What’s interesting is the market has changed. Previously the market was for skins amongst the Tibetan community, that market has largely collapsed and what we’re seeing now is skins bought for decoration and taxidermy amongst Chinese businesspeople,” he says.
“People are buying them for prestige, skins are very expensive and tend to cost around 20,000 US dollars each,” Mr Cameron explains.
Further coverage, by AFP:
The majority of tiger parts sold in China are smuggled from India via Nepal and the lack of enforcement of a ban on the trade is hobbling efforts by New Delhi to save the animal, [the report] said.
[…] In August this year, India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh met his Chinese counterpart to discuss how to save the tiger but no consensus was reached.
Experts said the porous border between India and Nepal continues to serve as a smuggling corridor for the poachers, who bribe poor forest dwellers to guide them through the dense jungles.
Below is a film made by EIA two years ago: