Mizzou Tigers for Tigers acts at two distinct, but interrelated levels to further the persistence of tigers in the wild while enhancing the research, education, and outreach agenda of the University of Missouri.
MU has created this program to save the wild tiger, our endangered mascot. The tiger's majestic image of bravery, ferociousness and cunning has embodied the spirit of Mizzou. Unfortunately, the few remaining wild populations are on the verge of extinction. Recognizing this irony, Mizzou Tigers for Tigers seeks to become a national leader for education and research on tiger ecology and biology and in efforts to preserve the last remaining wild tigers." Dr. Matthew Gompper, co-chair, Mizzou Tigers for Tigers
The Mizzou Tigers for Tigers Student Chapter raises awareness about the endangered status of our beloved mascot. They work with local schools to enhance environmental education and to gain a better understanding of how conservation is accomplished on a global scale. The Student Chapter also raises funds to aid wild tiger populations while giving students a chance to experience the challenges faced by small conservation groups tackling global problems.
Mizzou Tigers for Tigers also operates on a broader administrative scale to oversee the student organization, create research, education, and outreach opportunities for students and members of the MU community, and to help train the next generation of conservation leaders on whose shoulders the plight of the tiger will ultimately fall.
Our goals are to:
- Raise awareness about the conservation status of wild tigers.
- Fund projects that will benefit wild tigers and people who live near tigers.
- Enhance educational and research opportunities for our students while contributing to tiger conservation.
Our booth at Columbia's Earth Day to increase tiger awareness and raise funds to donate.
Mizzou Tigers for Tigers Steering Committee
Chris Koukola, University Affairs
Matt Gompper, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, School of Natural Resources
MU is a taxpayer-funded institution, so administrative support for MT4T cannot be funneled to non-university affiliated tiger projects, most of which are carried out in Asia. The majority of the funds dedicated to tiger conservation by MT4T are raised by the student chapter of the organization. Members of the MT4T steering committee work closely with the student group to identify appropriate mechanisms to direct these funds to field projects.
MT4T recognizes that it does not have the on-the-ground knowledge and contacts throughout much of Asia to identify the most appropriate projects for its student-raised revenue. Thus, the group has chosen to work closely with two of these organizations (Save the Tiger Fund and the World Wildlife Fund) to direct student-raised funds to appropriate field programs. STF and WWF work closely with MT4T to identify appropriate and valuable projects that can stimulate the enthusiasm of our student group and enhance the recognition of the work MT4T is conducting to aid the persistence of wild tigers. As a result of these interactions, large conservation programs have recognized the value of a program like MT4T, and representatives of STF, WWF, and WCS have visited MU on multiple occasions to discuss tiger conservation efforts with the MT4T steering committee, the MT4T student organization, and the broader university community.