January 30, 2022 5 min read
The Tiger is the third of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar, based on the lunar calendar.
In China, the Tiger is known as the king of all beasts. The zodiac sign Tiger is a symbol of strength, exorcising evils, and braveness.
Sadly in reality, these regal beasts are classified as endangered and it is estimated that there are only 3,500 tigers remaining in the wild worldwide. This is mainly because of habitat loss, poaching and illegal wildlife trade, climate change, and also because they make bad neighbors for people. According to theWorld Wildlife Foundation:
Tigers have lost an estimated 95% of their historical range. Their habitat has been destroyed, degraded, and fragmented by human activities. Tigers need wide swaths of habitat for their survival since they have large home ranges and are very territorial. Fewer tigers can survive in small, scattered islands of habitat, underscoring the need to ensure habitat connectivity between the protected areas where tigers live.
Tigers increasingly compete for space - with humans. As forests shrink and prey becomes scarce, tigers are forced to leave protected areas in search of food and to establish territories. This takes them into human-dominated areas, where they can hunt domestic livestock that local communities depend on. In retaliation, tigers are sometimes killed or captured. “Conflict” tigers can end up for sale in black markets. Local community dependence on forests for fuel wood, food, and timber heightens the risk of tiger attacks on people.
One of the world’s largest tiger populations are found in the Sundarbans—a large mangrove forest area shared by India and Bangladesh on the coast of the Indian Ocean. It is also the only coastal mangrove tiger habitat in the world. These mangrove forests harbor a variety of species, including tigers, and protect coastal regions from storm surges and wind damage. However, rising sea levels caused by climate change threaten to wipe out these forests and the last remaining habitat of this tiger population. Without mitigation efforts, it is projected sea-level rise—about a foot by 2070—could destroy nearly the entire Sundarbans tiger habitat.
It is estimated that there are more tigers in captivity in the United States than in the wild around the world. The WWF estimates about 5,000 of the big cats live in captivity around the country.
The current scale of commercial captive breeding efforts within these farms is a significant obstacle to the recovery and protection of wild tiger populations because they perpetuate the demand for tiger products, serve as a cover for illegal trade and undermine enforcement efforts. WWF is engaging with governments in countries with active tiger farms, and advocates ending breeding and phasing out the farms. WWF also advocates for improved regulation of the captive tiger population in the US. It is estimated that approximately 5,000 tigers reside in the US, and we must ensure that these animals are not exploited by, or contributing to, the illegal trade in tigers and their parts.
Poaching is the most immediate threat to wild tigers. Every part of the tiger—from whisker to tail—has been found in illegal wildlife markets. A result of persistent demand, their bones, and other body parts are used for modern health tonics and folk remedies, and their skins are sought after as status symbols among some Asian cultures. A never-ending battle with transnational crime syndicates and limited resources to protect areas are no match for protecting tigers.
The impact from the death of a single tiger at the hands of poachers reaches beyond one single loss. If a female tiger with cubs is killed, her cubs will most likely die without their mother, and the female's potential for future breeding is lost. If a male is killed, his death can result in intense competition for his territory among surviving males in the population, leading to potential injury and death.
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Go vegan. Seriously. While you may not eat tiger meat, wild animal populations are being decimated around the world and the meat industry is a major threat to their existence. Every day, more animals are becoming endangered and extinct due largely from the actions of humans. TheHolocene extinction (sometimes called Anthropocene), otherwise referred to as the sixth mass extinction, is an ongoing extinction event of species as a result of human activity. Continue readinghow the meat industry is harming wild animals.
Skip the animal attractions, swimming with the dolphins, horse-drawn carriage rides in NYC, elephant rides, andzoos for that matter…
The prospect of seeing an elephant up close or getting to pet a tiger is incredibly exciting, but doing so in the animal’s natural habitat isn’t exactly realistic. For this reason, attractions featuring “trained” and “domesticated” exotic animals have gained popularity across the world, offering tourists the chance to experience animals up close and personal. While these attractions appear to be fun from an outside view, in reality they involve an enormous amount of cruelty.
These animals are captured from the wild, usually as babies, and subjected to a cruel “breaking” process. During this process, they’re starved and beaten until they become submissive to humans. This sort of cruelty carries for the entirety of the animal’s, all for the sake of profit.
While most people assume that this sort of cruelty only happens in other parts of the world, there are a number of incredibly cruel animal attractionsfound right here in the U.S.
Support global conservation efforts (to name a few):
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