Someday, we may never see tigers again because tigers are on the critically endangered list, which is why the National Zoo was celebrating Global Tiger Day. This is happening because of poaching and habitat changes. Large plantations have replaced a lot of tiger habitat in several tropical range countries. Tigers occupy only around 7 percent of their historic range. The current wild tiger population is at as few as 3,200 tigers, including only about 400 Sumatran tigers, which are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species (TigerPopulation).
If people in the countries that the tigers live in do not take action to protect the tiger’s habitat and go against poaching, tigers have a big chance of becoming extinct. Most tigers are being held in captivity to keep them reproducing, there is one type of tiger that no longer exists in the wild but is held in captivity. Humans now control the fate of the tiger, their choices will determine whether it survives or becomes extinct (Wikipedia). If humans could make hunting tigers illegal for a while and let them reproduce, it would help the tiger stay in existence.
Three out of the eight species of tigers are already extinct, which are the Bali, Caspian, and Javan. The tiger has been a popular game animal and has been hunted for prestige as well as for taking trophies. People like to hunt tigers for their fur, claw, and pelts to make fur coats, rugs, and money; they also go for the tigers’ bones for medicinal use. For hundreds of years, if tigers saw people riding elephants it usually meant that a hunting party was about to happen. Threats to tigers can be separated into two categories: Poaching (Hunted for their pelt and bones) and retributive killing, which includes the illegal trade of tiger parts and human wildlife conflict, and habitat destruction and fragmentation, including illegal logging and commercial plantations (hintsforums).
Someone may ask why it would matter if the tigers were extinct. People tend to say “it is just an animal like all the others so it would not make a difference if they were gone.” Tigers are on the top of the food chain in all the ecosystems they live in; they keep the populations of deer, antelope, and gaur in check. Without the tiger to control them, these prey species would expand. If the population of these animals expanded more and more every day, they would completely clear out the vegetation, which is the food source of most animals and the smaller animals and insects would not survive without it. If the insects moved to the crops in farmlands vital food sources could be lost, impacting on human populations (WWF).
People need to stop hunting the tigers and let them reproduce. Humans now control the fate of the tiger. The tiger probably has little future outside protected areas because of the danger to livestock and humans. Tigers that come out of reserves and attack livestock are usually poisoned by people. It may take more than words to convince certain people to stop hunting because of the amount of money that the tiger brings to them. Tigers are magnificent creatures and most humans would love to keep them in existence.
Tigers are becoming an endangered species because of people poaching and changing the habitat by deforestation. Three of eight tigers are extinct and humans need to keep them in existence. It will make a bigger difference than people may think if the tigers were to disappear forever and people do not need to find out what could happen so they should help prevent it and stop hunting the tigers, there are plenty of other ways to make a lot of money.
Courtney from Study Moose
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