As a fellow animal lover, it saddens me to hear about the decreasing population of tigers worldwide. Although there are no actual estimates of the world tiger population, it is likely that the numbers have fallen by over 95% since the turn of the 20th century. If we as humans do not attempt to help save these magnificent creatures, future generations might not ever get the chance to see a tiger’s elegance in person.
By the 1980s, three subspecies of tigers were extinct: the Bali, Javan, and Caspian tigers. A recent government census in India suggests there may be as few as 1,400 tigers left. The Indian government is attempting to create a new tiger reserves in an effort to help the numbers of tiger population stabilize. According to the Indian government, it will take up to five years to set up these new reserves, but is this going to be too long?
It is almost strange to me that humans are creating these reserves to protect these tigers, yet it is said that we are partially the reason to blame for the destruction of their habitat. How “natural” will these reserves be since they will be man-made? I am curious to see how the tigers respond to these reserves.
In South China, tigers are considered to be “functionally extinct” in the wild by many scientists, and if not extinct, they are severely threatened. Current estimates suggest the surviving populations of tigers are around 1,850 Bengal tigers left in the wild. There are an estimated 500 Malayan tigers, 450 Amur tigers, less than 400 Sumatran tigers, and 300 Indo-Chinese tigers today.
Like I previously mentioned, humans are not innocent when it comes to threatening these tigers. These tigers are faced with threats such as poaching, habitat loss and prey reduction. As humans, it would be unjust of us to neglect this issue and act as if it is not among us. We must get involved and educate ourselves about this issue so that we can attempt to fix it.
Tigers will only survive if the local humans are willing to protect them. It is our duty to help these animals restore an enhanced population, since we are partially in fault for their decrease. If the wild tiger population continues to decline at the current rate, recovery may not be possible. It is my hope that people will be aware of this pressing issue so that changes can be made.