Save the Tigers

By: Michael Lintz

Species Information

The Panthera Tigris, or the Tiger, is currently endangered throughout the world. Tigers have been on the lookout for years now and are somewhat recently marked as endangered. Conservation's are looking to increase the Tiger species by reproduction but if that does not work out, there may not be a future for the Tiger species. However estimated studies suggest that by 2022, the number of tigers throughout the world will have doubled.

The Tiger has several interesting features about itself with one being the unique stripes. Out of the entire "Big Cat" family, the tiger is the only one with stripes. The stripes are different for every tiger and you will never encounter two tigers with the same stripe designs. The male tigers usually have a defined "ruff" on its head. The tiger is well adapted to be a successful predator, with short defined muscled legs and long sharp claws. A tiger has very powerful shoulders and jaws allowing the tiger to hold on to it's prey and give out crushing bites.

Tigers once lived throughout various countries in the world but today, the tiger lives in scattered habitats in just 13 countries from India to Southeast Asia. The population of the tigers has diminished significantly over the past 100 years due to hunters and poachers. Throughout the existence of the tiger species, they have always had a hard time living. Being predators, they are always on the lookout for prey and when prey is scarce, the species die out.

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There are numerous reasons why the Tiger species have become endangered. Human activities are responsible for most of it. Hunting has been the biggest threat to Tigers for hundreds of years. Poachers illegally killed Tigers for their valuable tiger bones. There have been several medical remedies made from tiger parts and the demand for them grew.

Another threat to tigers is their habitat loss. Land in Asia is being transformed into suburban housing areas to maintains Asia's population and Tigers are running out of room to live in. With smaller wilderness, the tigers prey have also declined resulting in tigers starving to death.

The Tiger is ultimately threatened because they have been hunted and killed by humans and their habitat is currently being destroyed. Asia is particularly most Tigers are dying mainly because that holds the most of them. Other South American countries also have tigers that are dying out but Asia is the main place. Humans are 90% responsible for the endangerment of tigers. They hunted and killed Tigers and now they are destroying their habitats.

Saving the big cat

Conservation Efforts

With the tiger population dwindling, organizations have been created to help preserve this amazing animal. In 1973, the Indian government established Project Tiger with a goal in mind to protect the Tiger population. In India today, there are 21 tiger reserves where tigers are imported and protected. Tigers were included on Appendix I of the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species which means that there was a limit put on how many legal exports of tiger parts could be shipped. What was once place where 100,000 tigers roamed, Asia now holds a meager 3,000 Tigers in its area. With all of the reserves and conservation's throughout the world, the Tiger population is starting to plateau however if something doesn't change with the way tigers are treated then they will become extinct in the next couple years.

Tiger's Impact

The tiger species is part of a fragile ecosystem. Being at the top of the food chain, if a tiger were to become extinct then species like deer, antelope, and wild pig would expand. With those species expanding, vegetation would become scarce and jungles would be left in ruins. This goes on until even insect's populations will begin to decrease. Tigers are a keystone species in the food chain and it would be chaos if they were to die out. The tigers also have an impact on the economy as well. As stated earlier, if a species eats plants and tiger kills that species, then if a tiger isn't there to kill that species, then there will be more species to eat to plants and plants will dwindle. Humans can help by either donating, or taking action by helping out at a tiger reserve.