Every Paw counts

By Beck Wenzke

Description of the issue

Wild tiger numbers are at an all-time low. We have lost 97% of wild tigers in just over a century. Tigers may be one of the most revered animals, but they are also vulnerable to extinction. As few as 3,200 exist in the wild today. As our population grows the more people and tigers increasingly compete for space. Tigers have lost 93% of their historic range. Their habitat has been destroyed, degraded and fragmented by human activities, including clearing forests for agriculture and timber trade and development activities like the building of road networks.

Human wildlife conflict: People and tigers increasingly compete for space. The conflict threatens the world’s remaining wild tigers and poses a major problem for communities living in or near tiger forests. As forests shrink and prey gets scarce, tigers are forced to hunt domestic livestock, which many local communities depend on for their livelihood. In retaliation, tigers are killed or captured. “Conflict” tigers are known to end up for sale in black markets. Local community dependence on forests for fuelwood, food and timber also heightens the risk of tiger attacks.

Habitat Loss: Fewer tigers can survive in small, scattered islands of habitat, which lead to a higher risk of inbreeding. These small islands of habitat also make tigers more vulnerable to poaching.

Roman Catholic Church Teachings

Animals are God's creatures... men owe them kindness. We should recall the gentleness with which saints like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Philip Neri treated animals.

God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons.

The Catholic Church teaches that we should have respect for animals, and not cause them un necessary harm. However, animals should not be treated like people, and it is okay to eat meat, wear leather and experiment on animals.

Practical responses

Adopt a tiger: Make a symbolic tiger adoption to help save some of the world's most endangered animals from extinction and support the WWF's conservation efforts.

Monitoring the tigers: Monitoring tigers and their prey is essential to achieving our goal of doubling wild tiger populations. By employing camera traps, tracking technologies and DNA collected from scat, we scrutinize the progress of tiger populations in order to adapt our strategies and make conservation decisions based on strong science and field experience.

Eliminating the tiger trade: Trade in tiger parts and products are a major threat to wild tiger survival. Together with TRAFFIC, the global wildlife trade monitoring network, we implement strategies to stop wildlife criminal networks, help governments shut down black markets, and change consumer behavior. We conduct investigations to document tiger trade, catalyze action against it, and train enforcement agencies. We continue to champion transnational wildlife enforcement networks and build strategies to reduce demand for tiger parts and products.

Eye of the Tiger song and lyrics
Tiger Boo - English Version (Cute Cartoon Songs)