Crucial Cat Conservation Explained: Are Tigers Endangered? | Kidadl


Crucial Cat Conservation Explained: Are Tigers Endangered?

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Tigers are known to be a part of the predator species, and they are critically Endangered and have a high risk of becoming Extinct in this world on our planet, Earth. 

These wild animals are now restricted to protected areas due to a reduction in tiger range countries. Wild tigers can now be found in south China, Bengal, Sumatra, and some other regions of Asia. The reduction in the population of tigers can be attributed to illegal trade and hunting.

Big cats like wild tigers are considered threats to humans and other livestock. But actually, it is these tigers who are threatened because of hunting for animal skins and the perceived medicinal value of their body parts for a number of human communities. Looking at data from the past century, you can see a lot of decline in the tiger population. Also, recent years have marked the extinction of three subspecies of the tiger family: the Caspian tiger, the Bali tiger, and the Indonesian tiger (Panthera tigris) that were mostly spotted in the western-central region of Asia. The list of extinction of wild animals also contains other big cat species like the Taiwan leopard and north Africa's Barbary lion. With the turn of the century, there was a decline of 6,000 from 100,000 tigers in nature worldwide. 

Why are tigers important?

These top predators have a major role in keeping the harmony of ecosystems of our planet. This predator-prey relationship in the local wilderness helps to balance the number of tiger populations in nature.

Tiger conservation efforts of the critically Endangered subspecies of tiger populations are being carried all around the globe, from the world’s largest known mangrove forest in the Sundarbans forest to snow-covered mountains of northeast regions of China and Russia.

In this world filled with biodiversity, tigers live in the most highly threatened regions and habitats, mostly in Asia. If we look at Sumatra, it is dense tropical forests that give the only shelter and habitat for Sumatran tigers which live with other animals like rhinos, elephants, and orangutans. Conservation of these landscapes and nature not only helps these tigers' survival but also other animals living in the environment and nature. Harmful human activities such as deforestation, infrastructure, mining, and other things that we call 'development' are actually not a development for animals and bird species in nature. These activities and processes result in destroying animals' and tigers' homes in the wild. Tigers are indeed an amazing species of the cat family. Did you know that each tiger (Panthera tigris) is unique, and has unique and different patterns of stripes on it? Also, markings on the tiger's forehead closely resemble Chinese characters for a king. Due to this, tigers are given a regal status and are often considered as cultural and traditional animals. Some of the most well-known threatened species of tigers are the Siberian tiger, the Sumatran tiger, and the Bengal tiger. Conservation efforts to save tigers of endangered species are being led by WWF, through the allocation of protected areas for tiger habitat.

After reading more about the habitat loss of tigers, do read about if tigers are bigger than lions and if there are tigers in Africa.

Why are tigers endangered?

The tiger species (Panthera tigris) is said to have been on this planet for a long time, from just after dinosaur times. Some fossils of tigers were found in south China, providing evidence of the presence of the south China tiger for 2 million years.

Sadly, all members of the south China tiger (Panthera tigris) which were seen throughout regions of Asia 100 years ago, are today on the decline due to human activities like hunting and habitat destruction in the name of development. Despite how ferocious these beautiful beasts are, we should work on their conservation and try all that we can do to stop them from endangerment and extinction.  

Tiger endangerment occurred at a high rate during the last decade. There are a lot of contributing factors for this which have all created a negative impact on these magnificent ferocious creatures or animals. Killing tigers for tiger parts, teeth and skin; poaching; human conflict; habitat destruction and loss; and most importantly the climate change all impact the numbers of tiger population. The extinction of subspecies of the tiger, the Javan tiger, and the Caspian tiger can be linked directly to the over-hunting of tigers or conflict with local communities. Often bought and placed in their homes by humans, parts of tigers like teeth, claws, bones, pelts, amur, and skin taken by hunting them were once the main reason for the count of tiger species to drop. But today, various laws have been created to avoid such killing and poaching of tigers resulting in their endangerment. All the research done by scientists and researchers is proving that tigers have lost about 85% to 93% of their natural habitat due to human activities and other natural destruction due to conflict with local communities. 

Portrait of a Royal Bengal Tiger.

What year will tigers go Extinct?

We have heard about a variety of tiger subspecies that have become Extinct. Tigers of the family Panthera tigris are mostly seen in subtropical and tropical areas of Asia. It is estimated that tigers might find their way to Endangered status by 2050. 

The national animal of India, the tiger was once the most favorite animal voted in an international survey by the well-known Animal Planet channel. But the sad news is that today, three of the nine subspecies of tigers have faced extinction in the last 80 years. If the situation goes on like this, researchers claim that all the tiger population could become Extinct in the wild by 2050.  

How many tigers are left in the world?

These days, if you turn on your television, you might see news related to global warming, deforestation, climate change, and other dangerous things occurring all around the world with catastrophic results to animals, nature, and humankind. Even all the technological advancement that people have done in the name of development has led to the endangerment of plant species and animals. Also in far east south Asia, tigers are still in low numbers and are declining in number. 

If things go at this pace, you could find everything, even our planet Earth, get destroyed and Extinct within not much time. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that there were only 3,900 wild tigers left in the world by 2020. But in order to keep the number from further declining or decreasing, we need to make sure that the endangered species of tigers is conserved and given proper care supporting tigers' survival.

Conservation Efforts To Help Endangered Tiger Populations

Tiger conservation is not just saving these beautiful and charming creatures. It also has the importance of making sure that all animal species are allowed to live longer and keeping forests alive without cutting them all down. Saving trees, plants, rivers, and mountains is important as well as conserving endangered species as well as for the welfare of local communities. Only then will the ecology provide clean water, air, pollination, and temperature regulations of the atmosphere. 

One of the reasons for tiger conservation is that our forests are said to be water catchment regions. One way to stop the tiger extinction is to stop taking all the land from animal habitats and forests. This could make a great impact on reducing the animal extinction rate. Also stopping harsh deforestation, mining, and harmful approaches to tigers like poaching and killing them for their tiger parts and body parts like teeth and skin can help save these endangered tigers from extinction. The majestic cat species of tigers is also killed for its meat and flesh and for its medicinal values. Currently tigers' status in the wild nature is Endangered. Having a population count as low as 3,200 in habitats which are being taken over by humans for development; and also humans poaching them for pelts, meat, and tiger parts; means that their extinction in the coming 8-10 decades is inevitable. Conservation efforts need to be done as soon as possible to prevent their extinction. You can donate to the World Wildlife Fund for conservation efforts.

What can you do to help?

Tigers are not just a charismatic species or subspecies of the wild. They have a much higher role in the food chain for balancing numbers and nature between the vegetation and herbivores who eat it as food. The presence of the tiger in forests makes it an ecologically balanced region. Extinction and their endangerment show how insufficiently protected the species is. This can also make a huge impact in the wild. An example of endangered and Extinct animals having connectivity to ecology is the dodo. When dodos of Mauritius became Extinct, some rare species or subspecies of Acacia trees in the locality stopped their regeneration completely. 

The extinction of an endangered animal always leaves a scar behind it in nature or in wild forests. This scar will affect ecosystems. But if we try to show some mercy and do what we can to conserve forests and animals like tigers, it could have an effect on society, nature, and the environment. Being aware of everything and educating yourself about what causes tigers to go Extinct and about tigers' lifestyle and how they are important to the ecology and wild nature is important. You can share your knowledge of tigers and the importance of their protection and conservation with your friends and others, educating them too, about the need to help. Also, you can visit your local zoo or national resource or conservation centers to help and support. Another way in which you can lend support towards tiger conservation is by donating money or raising awareness to conservation funds and efforts. If you are an influencer, you can try your best to support the conservation of tigers and other animals by promoting natural and ethical products other than animal-based ones. Conserving habitats is crucial to stop the endangerment and extinction cycle. You can plant trees and plants in your locality and stop people from deforestation. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for are tigers endangered then take a look at different types of tigers or Sumatran tiger facts.

Kidadl Team
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Kidadl Team

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