The Worldwide Fund for nature has designated the year 2010 for tiger conservation, since this is also the Chinese Year of the Tiger. This drive could not have come any sooner since there are estimated to be fewer than 3200 of these magnificent felines left in the wild.
Panthera Tigris is the largest of the four big cats but this preeminent position in the cat family and indeed in the jungle have not been able to protect it from its march towards extinction. Tigers have long been valued because of the mistaken notion that their body parts are crucial ingredients of traditional medications, particularly in China. It is forbidden to hunt them, and trade in their body parts is illegal, but their numbers continue to drop steadily. This is because poaching is only one reason for their impending extinction.
Tiger populations in Asia are threatened by their diminishing habitat and also by inbreeding. Tigers have the misfortune of sharing their habitat with the world's fastest growing populations of humans, and when it comes to a battle for survival, these felines do not stand a chance. Urgent steps have to be taken to conserve these splendid animals if they are to survive in their natural habitat. Anybody who has seen tigers in the wild will agree that their extinction will be an irreparable loss to this planet. The specimens you see in zoos are nothing in comparison to the ones that roam wild in their native jungles.
There is plenty that we can do as individuals in order to make our feelings known on this subject. We can support organizations that work to protect wildlife in our individual capacity with donations. We can also raise our children to have awareness of the various species that inhabit the planet and that their very survival is being threatened due to the depredations wreaked by man upon the environment. Our children should be raised to understand that their choices have far reaching consequences and they should be taught about conservation and recycling at a very early age.
We should also boycott all products that come from tigers. It is ironic that these wonderful animals are killed just so that people can use parts of their bodies in medicines that do not even have a proven effect.
If humans do not respond to the beauty of these animals in their natural habitat, they might at least respond to an argument based upon our gain.
The preservation of their habitat holds advantages for human beings as well. If we continue despoiling our environment at the current rate, there will be absolutely no green spaces left anywhere on the planet. This can only spell doom for us as a species.
Tiger conservation is the need of the hour because very simply put, there is hardly any time left. These animals are teetering on the brink of extinction and our concerted efforts can help pull them off the edge. So what are you going to do today to help save the tigers?