When Will Tigers be Extinct in the Wild
A warning has been issued to the world in regards to one of the most iconic animals on the earth, the Tiger. 2 Subspecies are already gone, can we save the other tigers?
Tigers are the largest of the big cats, however their population numbers are not so impressive. Only a century ago over 100,000 Tigers stalked the forests of Asia, today there are less than 3,200, and already three subspecies are extinct (the Java, Bali, and Caspian). More tigers are alive in captivity (although not all in good condition) than remain in the wild.
Tigers can be as long as 11 feet (3.3 meters) and can weigh as much as 660 pounds (300 kg). In the wild they can live 12 - 15 years.
Remaining subspecies of tiger include the Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, Siberian, South China, and Sumatran.
What is Killing the Tigers
Booming human populations throughout southern Asia have meant most natural habitat for tigers has been lost, deforestation and claiming land for agriculture has cost tigers their homes and hunting grounds. No prey = no tigers.
Growing economies are killing tigers. Poaching is a lucrative business as the Asian market still insists tiger parts are useful in alternative medicines and their pelts are still valued by collectors. Demands for resources mean tigers are pushed aside. The only way to turn the tide for tigers is to make saving them more valuable than destroying them, the areas where they live, and making sure they always have food sources.
Photo by User John Burkitt on en.wikibooks , via Wikimedia Commons
What is Being Done
A summit, taking place in Russia, (click here) and being hosted by PM Vladimir Putin, will define how well tigers survive. This summit wraps up November 24, 2010 and aims to improve the chances of survival in the wild for remaining tigers. Countries where tigers currently still exist naturally are Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Until we turn the clocks for these animals, experts have given tiger populations until 2022. Ironically 2022 is also the Chinese Zodiac “Year of the Tiger”.