Countries with wild tiger populations have agreed to do more to protect tiger habitats that are shrinking drastically because of deforestation and urban sprawl.

Representatives from the 13 Asian countries with tigers, meeting this week in New Delhi, said that wild forests in which tigers live are inherently valuable and worthy of protection.

These forests can help preserve economic growth by safeguarding water supplies, improving air quality and providing homes for not only tigers but also birds, frogs and other mammals.

Experts say the decision is key for many of the world's 13 tiger countries, most of which have growing human populations and fast-developing economies. By 2022, the countries want to double the world's wild tiger population from the all-time low of 3,200 hit in 2010.