40% is not a small amount.
The media presents expert opinions and we all too often absorb them. Even the most skeptical of us think that the experts know what they’re talking about. Surely they couldn’t be wildly wrong about their claims.
An estimated 3,726 to 5,578 tigers currently live in the wild worldwide — up 40% from 2015, according to a new tiger assessment from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
But much of the increase is because of improvements in monitoring the animals.
The post facto explanations would sit better if the original numbers had come with the caveat that, “we have no idea what the real number might be.” The WWF is still claiming 3,900 tigers. Obviously we get this with polar bears all the time. But tigers are still widely listed as being in the 3,000 range with no caveats.
If there are over 5,000, might there actually be 8,000? The answer appears to be who knows.
The experts aren’t omnipotent obviously, but it would help enormously if we stopped being handed misrepresentations of what we know for certain and what is speculation. Institutional trust is in a bad enough place without constantly making it worse.