The funds from the foundation, set up by the 39-year-old star, will be used to boost an initiative to double the number of tigers in Nepal by 2022 – also the next Chinese year of the Tiger.
“His foundation is all about delivering real results for conservation on the ground and empowering local communities; nowhere is that more evident than in Nepal,” said Carter Roberts, the president and CEO of the WWF, in a statement released by the organisation.
The annoucement coincided with the third anniversary of the historic Global Tiger Summit and will bolster the current work beign done by WWF with the government of Nepal and the local communities to strengthen anti poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, restore critical corridors for their dispersal and expansions and continuously monitor tiger populations.
Nepal’s tigers, known as the Panthera tigris, have been placed on the endangered species list by the International Conservation of Nature as a result of dwindling numbers.
DiCaprio, who recently starred in The Great Gatsby and is currently working on the upcoming film The Wolf on Wall Street has been a passionate advocate for the animals, joining forces with the WWF in 2010 to launch the Save Tigers Now campaign. So far the actor’s efforts have shown great results with the number of tigers in the Terai Bardia National Park rising from 18 to 50.
“Time is running out for the world’s remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching,” said Leonardo DiCaprio, a WWF Board member. “WWF, the government of Nepal and local communities are on the front lines of this battle and I am hopeful this grant will help them exceed the goal of doubling the number of these noble creatures in the wild.”
To find out more about the Save Tigers Now campaign visit: www.savetigersnow.org