Actor LEONARDO DiCaprio has handed World Wildlife Fund (Wwf) officials a $3 million (£2 million) grant through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to help boost the population of wild tigers in Nepal by 2022.

The Great Gatsby star, who is a Wwf board member, hopes the funds will help officials in Nepal "strengthen anti-poaching patrols, protect core areas for tiger breeding, restore critical corridors for their dispersal and expansion and continuously monitor tiger populations".

He says, "Time is running out for the world's remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching. 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."

The donation coincides with the third anniversary of the Global Tiger Summit and marks the first funds awarded to the Wwf from the Christie's 11th Hour Charity Auction in May (13). The event, which was organised by DiCaprio, reportedly raised $38.8 million (£25.8 million).

The environmental activist first teamed up with organisers at the Wwf in 2010 to launch Save Tigers Now, a global campaign to raise political, financial and public support to save tigers in the wild.