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Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Pledges $3 Million for Tiger Conservation

Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio at the 20th Annual Palm Springs Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Jan. 6, 2009. (Image credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-842236p1.html">carrie-nelson</a> | <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/">Shutterstock</a>)

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has awarded $3 million to the World Wildlife Fund to aid the organization's efforts to protect vulnerable populations of wild tigers in Nepal.

The grant will be used to fund tiger conservation projects in the Terai Arc Landscape, an area near the foothills of the Himalayas that is made up of 11 trans-border protected ecosystems between Nepal and India. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aims to double the number of tigers in Nepal by the year 2022, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Time is running out for the world's remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching," DiCaprio said in a statement. "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."

In May, DiCaprio organized the 11th Hour Charity Auction to raise money for animal conservation. The auction amassed a record $38.8 million in a single night. The actor has long been a dedicated advocate for animal conservation and the environment. DiCaprio teamed up with WWF in 2010 to launch a global campaign, called Save Tigers Now, to raise political, financial and public support to save tigers in the wild.

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Denise Chow
Denise Chow is the Assistant Managing Editor at Live Science. Before joining the Live Science team in 2013, she spent two years as a staff writer for Space.com, where she wrote about rocket launches and covered NASA's final three space shuttle missions. A Canadian transplant, Denise has a bachelor's degree from the University of Toronto, and a master's degree in journalism from New York University.