"Time is running out for the world's remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching," the 39-year-old actor 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. I am grateful for the amazing support our Foundation has received -- especially to our partners at Christie's who helped create a historic night for conservation fundraising with the 11th Hour Auction."
DiCaprio created Christie's 11th Hour Charity Auction in May, which raised a record $38.8 million for conservation. The WWF grant marks the first funds awarded from that night.
The grant will be used to help fund WWF’s work with the government of Nepal and local communities to strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, restore critical corridors for their dispersal and expansion and continuously monitor tiger populations.
DiCaprio, himself a WWF Board member, has been a long-time committed environmentalist. In 1998, he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to support organizations and initiatives dedicated to securing a sustainable future.
And it appears the issue of tigers is especially close to his heart -- he previously donated $1 million to the Wildlife Conservation Society at Russia's tiger summit in 2010.