International Tiger Day or Global Tiger Day is a yearly celebration across the world to raise awareness for tiger conservation. The day was first celebrated in 2010 following the Tiger Summit held in St. Petersburg where the focus was on raising awareness and protecting the animals and their natural habitat.
Be it the Royal Bengal Tiger or a Siberian or Sumatran, each kind has an allure that exceeds everything else in the woods. Each tiger has an exclusive set of stripes which makes it individually recognizable in the wild. A tiger’s ‘roar’ can be heard from as far as 3km away. Tigers are big beautiful animals and they certainly deserve to exist for a long time in the world. Like you and me, they too have a history and we can’t let them go extinct.
There are six subspecies of the tiger – Bengal, South China, Malayan, Indochinese, Sumatran and Siberian. Tigers are the greatest of all cats – males can weigh up to 660 pounds and grow to over 10 feet from head to tail. White tigers carry a gene that is only present in 1 in 10,000 tigers. We have seen a dramatic decrease in tiger population over the last century. Worldwide, tigers are on the brink of extinction with many kinds listed as critically endangered. Tigers have already lost 93% of their historical range.
When a species goes extinct, it leaves behind a scar. For example, when the Dodos in Mauritius went extinct one species of Acacia tree stopped regenerating completely. Similarly, the presence of tigers in the forest is an indicator of the well-being of the ecosystem. As of 2016, India now has 70 % of world’s tiger population, which is a high stature for every Indian. It is the essential duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for all living creatures. India has a number of the finest requisites to safeguard animals in the world.
Poaching: The Root of the Problem –
One of the world’s largest tiger populations is found in the Sunderbans on the northern coast of Indian Ocean. The clearing of forests for timber and agriculture, development activities, climate change, human wildlife conflict, habitat loss, the construction of road networks pose serious threats to tiger habitats. The habitat has been wrecked, fragmented and ruined by human actions. Tigers are captured or killed for sale in black markets. Every part of the tiger from the tail to the whisker is traded in unlawful wildlife markets. The most immediate threat to wild tigers is Poaching.
International Tiger Day is about more than just saving tigers. It is a chance to commemorate these mysterious, beautiful creatures and raise awareness about the preservation efforts that are required to protect the remaining species around the world.
Why is there a Need to Save Tigers?
- Tigers shape the ecosystem by preserving the environmental integrity
- Tigers limit pasturing and over-grazing by herbivores
- Tigers need vast areas for dwelling which at the end become home for a number of other wild species
- In India, nearly 350 streams spring from Tiger Reserves which indirectly help in managing floods and provide clean air
- The utmost important reason to save tigers is that this species might become extinct in the next 25 years. Just so you know Caspian, Balinese and Javan tigers have already become extinct so far.
A few things that we can do to save Tigers are:
- Use forest-friendly products
- Restrict the use of products made of Palm oil
- Avoid using products manufactured through forest destruction
- Say NO to products made of tiger skin
- Protect forests and support wildlife sanctuaries
- Help prevent wildlife trade
- Create awareness for wildlife and biological conservation
- Let’s preserve areas of natural reputation as a natural legacy for the people
Become a responsible global citizen and pledge to save the incredible wildlife species! Our duty can be small but it can win big prizes in the future.
Did You Know? The roar in Disney’s The Lion King was actually a tiger's because lions’ roars aren’t as powerful!
Image Credits: Walt Disney
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