Back from the Brink
The Siberian (or Amur) Tiger is a subspecies of the tiger that is critically endangered. Human intervention has not yet brought it back from the brink of extinction. However, it has rebounded from 50 individuals after WW II to around 400 today. Given the Chinese demand for tiger parts as part of 'traditional medicine', any current increase is precarious.
The species discussed on this page are generally keystone species within their natural environment. Upon the brink of extinction, they have been subject to minimal to extraordinary human intervention for their benefit. The prognosis at this time appears positive. Their stories suggest approaches applicable to other species, currently or in the future, under threat of extinction.
On a broader note, a rebirth of the keystone species that once roamed this world may be good for the environment. See interview on reintroduction of megafauna to North America and activity in the California Bay Area.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been a crucial leader in the effort to save these endangered keystone species. Just one example is their support of the Vietnamese government in its quest to save the Saola, an ox which is one of the world's rarest animals.
American Bison - There were more than 30 million American bison (estimates vary considerably, ranging up to 60 million) on the Great Plains before the American Civil War. Within 20 years of the end of that war, the animal was on the brink of extinction. They were slaughtered for their hides, to deprive the Plains Indian of their primary source of sustenance or just for the hell of it. As the image to the left makes clear, few doubted the rightness of this killing spree.