TIGERS are sad because people have killed many of their friends & relatives. Tigers are now an endangered species; Today there are only about 5,000 to 7,400 tigers left in the world. These tigers would soon die if people do not stop hunting them. It is estimated that 100 years ago, there were 50,000 to 80,000 tigers in India alone. Three types of tigers, The Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers have become extinct (not even one of them is left in this world.) in the past 70 years.
“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” — Mohandas Gandhi”
The tiger is the world’s favorite animal. The world must decide, collectively, whether we care enough about the tiger to keep it in the wild. We care about the tiger but only to the point that we keep it in captivity and on our strict terms. The tiger is the world’s favorite animal but it competes with us for space and we are the world’s top predator, we control the destiny of the tiger. We are also frightened of the tiger
Now, merely 3,500 big cats are left in the wild of which 1,411 are in India. Little wonder that the whole world is crying itself hoarse over the sharp drop in the population of this endangered species from the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deciding to step in to save the big cats and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh making a wakeup call by blaming mafia supported by politicians for its extinction.
“If we use tiger numbers as a performance indicator, then we must admit that we have failed miserably and that we are continuing to fail,” says Willem Wijnstekers, secretary general, CITES at the meeting where the illegal trade in Asian big cat products was a key discussion issue.
The Tiger is often described as a particularly dangerous, sly, and invincible predator. Tigers are one of the biggest among the 37 species’ of cats in the world today. They have powerful bodies, large paws, and very sharp claws. The head of the Tiger is rounded and has a convex profile. The ears are black with white in the middle. The Tiger’s eyes are a yellowish-orange color, but at night they almost look green.
There are two reasons why tigers are endangered:
1) Habitat loss:
People cut forests where tigers live, to do farming, build houses & buildings. This leads to tiger becoming homeless and foodless. Animals which the tiger eats also die when forests are cut. This leads to tigers becoming weak and ultimately they die.
2) Illegal Killing:
Tigers are killed to make rugs and coats out of their skins, and also because in many Asian cultures medicines made from tiger parts are believed to cure diseases. Tigers and many other endangered species are killed illegally for their skins and body parts. Products made from rare wild animals such as spotted cats, tigers, rhinos, and elephants are still sold illegally.
Since 1972, there has been a massive wildlife conservation project, known as Project Tiger, to protect the Bengal tiger. Despite increased efforts by Indian officials, poaching remains rampant and at least one Tiger Reserve (Sariska Tiger Reserve) has lost its entire tiger population to poaching. The passing of the Forest Rights Act by the Indian government in 2006 has worsened the situation as evidence has shown that human habitats and tigers cannot co-exist and has pushed the Indian tiger on the brink of extinction.
Saving the tiger means saving mankind:
Not only is tiger a beautiful animal but it is also the indicator of the forest’s health. Saving the tiger means we save the forest since tiger cannot live in places where trees have vanished and in turn secure food and water for all. The tiger thus becomes the symbol for the protection of all species on our earth since it is at the top of the food chain. This is why we sometimes call the tiger, an apex predator, an indicator of our ecosystem’s health.
Current Status of Tiger in India:
India holds over half the world’s tiger population. According to the latest tiger census report released on February 12, 2008 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the current tiger population stands at 1,411 (i.e. ranging between a minimum of 1,165 to a maximum of 1,657). The results include figures from 16 tiger states and are exclusive of Jharkhand and Sunderbans. The state of West Bengal was covered only partially (i.e. North Bengal) during the census.
A heavy male Bengal tiger weighing 258.6 kg (570 lbs) was shot in Northern India in 1938. In 1980 and 1984, scientists captured and tagged two male tigers in Nepal that weighed more than 270 kg (600 lb). The largest known Bengal tiger was a male with a head and body length of 221 cm measured between pegs, 150 cm of chest girth, a shoulder height of 109 cm and a tail of just 81 cm, perhaps bitten off by a rival male. This specimen could not be weighed, but it was calculated to weigh no less than 272 kg. Finally, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the heaviest tiger known was a huge male hunted in 1967 that measured 322 cm in total length between pegs, 338 cm over curves and weighed 388.7 kg (857 lb). This specimen was hunted in northern India by David Hasinger and is on exhibition in the Mammals Hall of the Smithsonian Institution.