WHY SAVE THE TIGER

STEPHEN FRY ONCE SAID,

“I F NATURE HAS MADE ANY THING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN A TIGER THEN I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT MIGHT BE.” WE COULDN’T THINK OF A BETTER WAY T O START THIS SMALL PIECE OF ARTICLE DEDICATED T O THIS WONDERFUL WORK OF NATURE – TIGER.

Here are some inspiring facets of this enigmatic wonder called the tiger.

The largest of all the Asian big cats, tigers rely primarily on sight and sound rather than smell for hunting. They typically hunt alone and stalk prey. A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time. On average, tigers give birth to two to four cubs every two years. If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within five months. Tigers generally gain independence at two years of age and attain sexual maturity at age three or four for females and at four or five years for males. Juvenile mortality is high however—about half of all cubs do not survive more than two years. Tigers have been known to reach up to 20 years of age in the wild.

Males of the largest subspecies, the Amur (Siberian) tiger, may weigh up to 660 pounds. For males of the smallest subspecies—the Sumatran tiger—upper range is at around 310 pounds. Within each subspecies, males are heavier than females. Tigers are mostly solitary, apart from associations between mother and offspring. Individual tigers have a large territory, and the size is determined mostly by the availability of prey. Individuals mark their domain with urine, feces, rakes, scrapes and vocalising. Across their range, tigers face unrelenting pressures from poaching, retaliatory killings and habitat loss. They are forced to compete for space with dense and often growing human populations.

Why Save Tigers? Today, there are as few as 3,500 wild tigers left. With increasing threats from man, they desperately need your help to survive. 

  • There are as few as 3,500 tigers left in the wild, we have to act now or this iconic animal could be extinct in less than 20 years.
  • As apex predators, tigers shape the ecosystems in which they live.
  • They prevent over-grazing by limiting herbivore numbers and maintain ecological integrity.
  • Tigers are solitary and have large home ranges making them excellent ‘umbrella’ species providing space for a variety of other species to flourish.
  • In India, more than 350 rivers originate from tiger reserves. These reserves also sequester carbon, provide oxygen and slowly release ground water to regulate floods. Protecting the tiger will in turn protect these vital habitats.

  • Protecting existing tiger habitats and the reforestation of degraded habitat may help buffer the poorest communities in Asia against the impacts of river siltation and flooding, while providing global benefits.
  • Saving the tiger will help communities and local populations benefit from habitat resources and tourism.
  • Man is solely responsible for the slaughter of the tiger. In the natural world the tiger’s only predator is man.

It is our collective responsibility to stop the killing and save the tiger in the wild. 

Here’s an interesting episode from our neighbour – Nepal. NEPAL NEARLY DOUBLES ITS WILD TIGER POPULATION 

In an amazing show of progress for wildlife, Nepal is on track to become the first of the world’s countries to double its wild tiger population since 2010. According to results from the country’s most recent tiger survey, there are now an estimated 235 wild tigers. It’s exciting and unprecedented news for this small Himalayan country, one of 13 tiger range countries that pledged to double the number of tigers in the wild by 2022—part of an initiative known as TX2. “Nepal is a great example for other tiger range countries to step up and commit to the same level of political will and excellence, While this is a huge story for tiger conservation, it also highlights the constant need to ensure the protection of key habitats and the value of a landscape approach for this species to recover and thrive,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation at World Wildlife Fund.

TIGER COUNTRY: Nepal’s happy news arrives at a time when many of the world’s tiger populations are in decline from habitat loss and widespread poaching. As an intrepid leader in tiger conservation, Nepal demonstrates what’s possible when governments, law enforcement, local communities and NGOs work together to support robust protections for this critically endangered species. In recent years, Nepal joined forces with WWF to strengthen community-based antipoaching and monitoring efforts. The government has also increased its commitments to protect and restore vital tiger habitat—including important wildlife corridors—to ensure tigers have the space and prey base they need to thrive.

DOUBLING TIGRES: With fewer than 4,000 wild tigers left in the world, more must be done to ensure tiger numbers keep trending upwards. “Every tiger counts, for Nepal and the world,” said Dr. Ghana S. Gurung, Country Representative of WWF-Nepal. “While Nepal is but a few tigers away from our goal to double tiger numbers by 2022, this survey underscores the continued need to ensure protection and improved and contiguous habitats for the long-term survival of the species.” Tiger conservation remains a challenge in Southeast Asia, where rampant poaching and deforestation are an everpresent threat. We hope that this article interests you and inspires you to save this incredible species. This article is inspired by various readings from WWF and David Shepherd’s Tiger Time.

V Prakash – Sustainable Luxury Advocate