This article was updated on July 29th, 2021
Panthera Tigris, otherwise known as tigers, the largest of the cat family, have distinctive markings of yellow and black stripes. Today’s six surviving subspecies are the Bengal tiger, Siberian tiger, Sumatran tiger, Malayan tiger, Indochinese tiger, and the South China tiger.
For the past 100 years, the tiger population has decreased gradually by about 95%. However, after a significant decline, the overall wild tiger population is starting to go up for the first time in many years. According to World Wilde Life, there has been an increase of tigers in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia, and China. From a century of dwindling, an estimated 3,900 tigers are now roaming the earth. However, there’s still much that needs to be done since the gorgeous felines remain in the Endangered Red List of Threatened Species published 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 led 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, contribute to the tigers’ demise.
Although tigers have become endangered by the hand of humans, today, there are more tigers 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. With the theme: “Their Survival is in our hands,” the goal is to bring awareness to the dangers these beautiful animals face. Several conservation organizations are participants, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Smithsonian Institute.
To do your part this International Tiger Day, 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 offspring, they are called Tigons and Ligers.