Panthera tigris other wise known as tigers, the largest of the cat family, have distinctive markings of yellow and black stripes. The six surviving subspecies found today are: Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, Sumatran tiger, Malayan tiger, Indochinese tiger and the South China tiger.
For the past 100 years tigers have dwindled 95% from 100,000 to about 3,000 that roam the earth today. For this reason they were put on the ever growing list of endangered animals by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Many factors have contributed to the dwindling number and slow demise of these majestic creatures. The rapid expansion of deforestation has driven the tiger to hunt for domestic livestock leaving local communities to retaliate by hunting them to protect their animals. The illegal trade of tigers has also lead them to be hunted by poachers that sell their skins for profit and other body parts used in ancient medicine practices. These factors along with loss of habitat and climate change are contributing to the tigers’ demise.
Although tigers have become extinct or endangered by the hand of humans, today there are more of these big cats found in the custody of humans as pets, than there are found in the wild.
With the alarm bell ringing loudly, International Tiger Day was first established in 2010 and is remembered yearly every July 29 to bring awareness to the dangers these beautiful animals are facing. A number of conservation organizations are participants including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Smithsonian Institute.
To do your part in participating in International Tiger Day to save the tiger you can contribute to these and many other conservation organizations so they can continue their job in saving these and countless other animals that are in danger of extinction.
If you see a group of tigers, call them an ‘Ambush’ or ‘Streak’ which is another commonly used term for a tiger group. Although they always fight for territorial supremacy in the jungle, tigers and lions due from time to time get together and if they have an offspring they are called Tigons and Ligers.