Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Poaching to Palm Oil: Tigers at Risk of Extinction

Poaching to Palm Oil: Tigers at Risk of Extinction

Actor Leonard DiCaprio made news last fall for his conservation work when his foundation awarded $3 million to the World Wildlife Fund for an initiative to help Nepal double its population of wild tigers by 2022, the next Chinese Year of the Tiger.

As DiCaprio explained, “Time is running out for the world’s remaining 3,200 tigers, largely the result of habitat destruction and escalating illegal poaching.”

International Tiger Day is celebrated annually on July 29. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

While conservation groups and foundations have for years been doing important work to save these animals in the wild, tigers remain an endangered species.

Threats faced by these cats include poaching for their pelts, illegal rainforest destruction for palm oil production and habitat loss due to climate change, such as coastal erosion due to sea level rise.

International Tiger Day is celebrated annually on July 29 to bring attention to the perils faced by these fascinating animals.

According to Defenders of Wildlife, there were an estimated 100,000 tigers living in the wild in the early 1900s. The range of these animals has also diminished and they are now only found in Southeast and South Asia, China and the Russian Far East. The following is a breakdown of tiger numbers by subspecies:

Bengal tiger: Less than 2,000
Indochinese tiger: 750-1,300
Siberian tiger: Around 450
Sumatran tiger: 400-500
Malayan tiger: 600-800
South Chinese tiger: Extinct in the wild
Caspian tiger: Extinct
Javan tiger: Extinct
Bali tiger: Extinct

This short video offers some facts about tigers:

And here are some, perhaps surprising, bonus facts from OneKind:

  • Like its ancestor, the sabre-tooth cat, the tiger relies heavily on its powerful teeth for survival. If it loses its canines (tearing teeth) through injury or old age, it can no longer kill and is likely to starve to death.

  • The roar of a Bengal tiger can carry for over 2km at night.

  • Tigers use their distinctive coats as camouflage (no two have exactly the same stripes).

  • Like domestic cats, all tigers can purr. Unlike their tame relatives, however, which can purr as they breathe both in and out, tigers purr only as they breathe out.

  • Unlike other cats, tigers are good swimmers and often cool off in lakes and streams during the heat of the day.

How can you help these endangered animals? Consider symbolically adopting a tiger to help save animals in the wild or take action by sending a message to government leaders.

You Might Also Like

Small Wild Cats Face Big Threats Including Lack of Conservation Funds

10 Reasons Why We Must Save the Indonesian Peatlands

Celebrate 50+ Green Holidays

 


OlgaMiltsova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Gwen Ranniger

In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


JasonOndreicka / iStock / Getty Images

Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Protestors walk past an image of a Native American woman during a march to "Count Every Vote, Protect Every Person" after the U.S. presidential Election in Seattle, Washington on November 4. Jason Redmond / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."

Read More Show Less
Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less