Why Are Tigers Endangered Nowadays In [2022]? - How Can We Help Endangered Tigers?

Updated: 12 Feb 2021


Why are tigers endangered

Many people have a question, why are tigers endangered?

Tigers are currently endangered for various reasons that severely impact these magnificent beasts. Five significant causes threaten the lives of tigers, Including poaching, illegal trade, climate change, and habitat loss. 

Historically, we know that tigers ranged from Turkey to China and Russia in the north, and Indonesia in the south. Unfortunately, they are now threatened with extinction and occupy only 6% of their historic habitat. Yet, these majestic cats are essential to global ecosystems and are an important part of many people's cultures.

In the article, we will explore, what makes the tigers endangered.

Why Are Tigers Endangered?

According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), tigers are critically endangered. Therefore, the tiger species as a whole is considered endangered. However, many of its subspecies are either completely extinct or critically endangered.

The gradual reduction in the population of tigers is due to 5 main reasons, most of them are man-made. The five leading factors are poaching, illicit trading in tiger parts, habitat degradation, human conflicts, and climate change.

Illegal Trading: Illicit trade of tiger parts is the most prominent concern. However, in reality, hunting is directly responsible for the demise of the Caspian and Javan tigers.

Tigers are hunted for their pelts, fangs, claws, and bones, among other things. These things are collected and sold as collectibles; some still utilize them as status symbols. In addition, some people in remote regions employ tiger body parts in primitive medicinal treatments. 

Habitat Loss: The first and foremost reason is habitat loss. As the human population in the world increases, so does the destruction of the natural environment of wildlife by industrialization and agriculture.

Like other wild animals, tigers face difficulties. Due to migration, tigers have to live in areas with a shortage of prey.

As a result of the loss of resources, land grabbing causes the relocation or extinction of many animal species. In addition to the factors mentioned above, deforestation leads to the loss of tiger habitat. It's a shame that the areas where these tigers formerly roamed have become one of the world's most heavily populated regions.

Climate Change: Tigers are renowned for being adaptive species, but global warming has resulted in climatic changes that decrease their ability to adapt.

These tigers are severely vulnerable due to habitat degradation and the lack of natural resources. According to the study, the survival of tigers in a particular location depends on various climatic and geographical conditions, including temperature, humidity, and forests. Another factor is human density.

Poaching: Illegal hunting or killing an animal without permission is one of the most immediate risks to the tiger ecosystem. The tiger is precious because of its rarity.

Internal organs, for example, are used as folk medical practices in various Asian nations. Yet, surprisingly, the tiger's penis is utilized in recipes and is said to be an aphrodisiac.

Hunters set traps in areas where hunters gather to trap tigers. The hunter keeps the tiger in the net until he stops trying to escape. Painless people then beat the tiger with a thick stick and kill it.

Revenge Killing: Because tigers are already in dire need of food, they migrate to human settlements where they hunt cattle.

When a tiger comes to attack livestock in some parts of India, the locals react by allowing the tiger to devour the poisoned carcass. As a result, the peasants are killing many tigers because they believe losing animals means losing their livelihood.

The Indian government pays owners who lose their livestock due to tiger attacks to limit the number of tigers killed. However, because this procedure takes so long, the people will continue to poison the tigers to reduce their numbers.

Which Species Of Tigers Are Closest To Extinction?

Tigers consist of nine different subspecies. But everyone's number is different. If we talk about wild tigers, at present, there are only 5000 wild tigers left in the world. Below we will talk about the species of tigers that are critically endangered or close to extinction.

Bengal Tigers: There are an estimated 3,500 Bengal tigers in the wild. At this time, their number is the highest in the forest. But this species of tiger is also endangered.

Indochina Tigers: The population of these tigers is continuously decreasing. According to recent estimates, their population consists of 200 to 350 individuals. However, due to their remote environment, accurate diagnosis is difficult. Indochina tigers live mostly in Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

South China Tigers: Almost all known living tigers from South China are housed in Chinese zoos. Because of this, the species is practically extinct in the wild. Since people thought of these tigers as vermin a century ago, hunting has reduced their numbers. Small populations may still exist. However, it is uncertain whether they live in the wild.

Siberian Tigers: The largest species of tiger, Siberian tigers are found in northeastern China, Russia, and North Korea. There are currently 450 Siberian tigers left in the wild. Although endangered, their numbers are now stable due to measures taken by the governments of China and Russia.

Sumatran and Malayan Tigers: These species of tigers are mostly associated with the Sumatran and Malayan islands of Trans-Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite official protection, they are still being hunted and are considered critically endangered. It is estimated that there may be a total of 400 Sumatran and Malayan tigers alive in the wild at present.

Which Subspecies Of Tigers' Have Already Gone Extinct?

Sadly, not all tiger species survive into the 21st century. Three subspecies of tigers are no longer alive.

The Bali Tiger was present in present-day Bali. However, they were last observed on the island in 1930. But a small population probably existed in this world until the 1940s. Due to habitat destruction, they had nowhere to live after the prey became extinct.

Until the 1970s, the Javan tiger was native to the Indonesian island of Java. It was said to be robust despite being smaller than other subspecies. The main reasons for the extinction of the Javan tiger were mass hunting, extensive habitat loss, and bounties placed on their heads. In addition, people deliberately distributed the poisoned prey in certain areas to kill the tigers more quickly.

The main reasons for the extinction of the Javan tiger were mass hunting, extensive habitat loss, and bounties placed on their heads. In addition, people deliberately distributed the poisoned prey in certain areas to kill the tigers more quickly.

At one time, the Caspian tiger was a resident of various regions of Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The leading cause of their extinction was habitat destruction due to cotton cultivation, which eliminated their main habitats along the rivers. As a result, the numbers at their historical sites declined drastically over the decades, and they probably died out in the 1970s.

How many tigers are left in the world?

There are currently around 5,000 wild tigers and 8,000 captive tigers worldwide. A captive population of 5,000 is found in the United States, where private ownership of exotic pets is not prohibited by law. Tigers are currently living their lives in various zoos and cages around the world.

In the last 100 years, the number of wild tigers has declined drastically. They are now found in only 6 percent of their historic range. Only a fraction of the current number, 100,000 tigers, lived in the wild in the early 1900s. In just 100 years, global tiger populations have declined by 95 percent.

How can we help endangered tigers?

  • Safeguard the tigers' habitat.
  • Capacity building in range states.
  • Lessen confrontation between humans and tigers.
  • To assist in guiding conservation initiatives, do scientific studies on tigers.
  • Encourage tiger-friendly regulations.
  • Keep an eye on the number of tigers, population trends, and dangers to tigers' habitats.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did tigers become endangered?

There are around 4000 to 5000 wild tigers in the world. This represents 7% of the previous population. Due to the tiger's limited population and intense human pressure, the IUCN declared it endangered in 1986.

What will happen if tigers are extinct?

The system would collapse if tigers became extinct. The tiger is a significant predator that contributes to the sustainability of ecosystems. These ecosystems provide fresh water, food, and health to nature and humanity. Protecting tiger habitats might contribute to the defense of at least nine significant watersheds, which control and supply fresh water to more than 800 million people in Asia.

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