Tiger Conservation Awareness: 3,000 is NOT a large number

I am a cat person. I love domesticated cats, but I love big cats even more.

Yes, for someone who is afraid of most animals, I love, love, love big cats.

Tiger Day 2014

Particularly, tigers.

Because they are beautiful and majestic and powerful creatures.

The sad part is that the tigers are disappearing.

A hundred years ago, there are over 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today, there are as little as 3,000 left.

And sure, 3,000 may seem like a large number, but considering the land area of jungles where they were supposed to be living, and how these ecosystems have depleted over the years, and how poachers and tiger consumers have hunted them down instead of leaving them in peace as they should, there is a possibility that tigers will become extinct within five years.

That’s not even an exaggeration, considering that some tiger species really are gone.

  • Bali tigers, despite their importance in Balinese Hinduism, became extinct in 1937.
  • Caspian tigers were last sighted in the 1970s.
  • Java tigers were last seen in 1979, and despite the expedition in 1990, there were no evidences that these species still exist.

I don’t know about you, but it’s going to be sad when the kids of the future will think that Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, or Rajah from Aladdin, or even Tony the Tiger on the Rice Krispies cereal are made-up animals.

I thought tigers were beautiful in pictures and on television, but several years ago, when I saw one them up-close, and hugged an eight-month-old cub, I was amazed more than anything, because photos and television don’t do them justice.

And okay, I’m gushing, but here’s for the more serious part.

Remember what Mufasa told Simba in “The Lion King”? (I know, lions and tigers are different, but Mufasa still made a point)

We’re all part of the circle of life.

And yes, it was Disney, but there is a lot of truth in that.

With tigers being carnivores and high up in the food chain, they strike a balance in nature. If they, along with other carnivorous animals that are already in danger, become extinct, the balance in nature becomes all wonky and the ecosystems will not survive. It’s a complicated concept, but if you listened to elementary science, you’ll get my drift.

So what happens now?

There is still time to save the tigers in the wild. Organizations like the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the National Geographic, are actively doing what they can to save tigers, and the thing is, even without membership, you can you do your part to help.

(And if you happen to be a Leo diCaprio fan, he’s also big on saving these amazing creatures.)

Check out SaveTigersNow.org to see what you can do to help.

As for me, this is my way. Let us spread awareness for Tiger Conservation.

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The Stripes Run Skin Deep

Today is Global Tiger Day, or if you prefer, International Tiger Day.
I am doing my part to help raise awareness for tiger conservation.

wwf-canada

Tigers are fiercely beautiful, strong, and independent species, but there are only 3,200 of them left in the wild.

This is because  they are being hunted for their fur and other body parts.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the estimated number of tigers were in the hundred thousands. Today, three tiger species are extinct, and others are endangered.

But here’s the thing, why should we save tigers, when they are predators, known to attack even humans?

First, tigers are umbrella species — because they are high up in the circle of life food chain, tiger crisis mean that there are bigger biodiversity crisis in Asia. Because they are on top of the food chain, they have key roles in maintaining the health of ecosystems. Removing a top carnivore can have an impact in the abundance of herbivores and maintenance of the balance of the wildlife population.

Tigers are solitary species, and resident tigers confine themselves to definite territories that can give and satisfy their needs, which basically means, it depends on the abundance of preys. A tigress can have a home range of  20 kmwhile tiger males have larger territories of 60 to 100 km2  .Of course, for reproduction purposes, male ranges can sometimes overlap with some females. Because of this need for large territories, in saving them, they also have to save a lot of the ecosystem – about 100 kmof forest for every tiger.

Finally, it’s undeniable that tigers are among the most beautiful, majestic, and charismatic creatures in the world. Because they reside mostly in Asia and India, tigers can help directly the poor communities in the world, because tourists go where tigers are, and having tiger safaris and sight-seeing (no poaching or hunting, though!)  is a great way to make a living.

Personally, I find tigers very beautiful (and that’s even an understatement), and believe me, the day I hugged a tiger cub was the best experience I had — it even beat travelling out of the country. I want my future kids to see tigers, too, that’s why I want to help save them.

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Here are more facts about tigers:

  • They are the largest wild cats in the world, and easily recognized because of their reddish-orange coat with dark stripes. The ones that live in cold northern areas are bigger than those that live in the tropics.
  • Much like fingerprints on humans, no two tigers have the same stripes. This is how they are recognized by researchers and scientists studying them.
  • Unlike most cats, they enjoy soaking themselves in the water to cool off. They are even strong swimmers, and they can go up to six kilometers.
  • They are hunted for their fur, which are used as rags and coats; and for their body parts, which are used for traditional medicines in some regions.
  • They are very solitary — they live alone, except for mothers and their young (who leave by the age of two). In order to procreate, a male and female come together, but they go their separate ways right after.

 

Sources:

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/tigers/last_of_the_tigers/whysavetiger/
http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/tiger/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger#Biology_and_behaviour

For the love of wildlife

I want a zoo in my room. I want symbolic adoptions from WWF. All of them.
My top three are the tiger, panda, and then the dolphin. Mostly the tiger. If I had to save one species in the world, I would save the tigers.

The “Hands off my parts” tee. Of course the purple (at least it looks purple from the monitor) tiger one.

The vintage gear, classic.

Pewter earrings. As always, a tiger.

Sad part: as always, unavailable here in the Philippines.

Why oh why?