Tigers are a part of nature. A part of the variety of flora and fauna that inhabit the earth. A part of the dominant biosphere. Yet they are a part of the declining group of animals. Avid natural predators who are commonly used as prey for human greed. This relentless and merciless hunting has consequences. India used to be abundant in Tigers and yet we had dropped to as low as 1,400 tigers. Thanks to the tireless effort of many NGO’s and the Government the tiger population is slowly grasping out of the endangered group. To spread more awareness of this and to preserve nature’s hunters, we celebrate 29th July as International Tiger Day
History of International Tiger Day
The decision to celebrate the day was taken in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in Russia in response to the shocking news that 97% of all wild tigers had disappeared in the last century, with only around 3,000 left alive. Governments of tiger populated countries came forward in 2010 and vowed to double the tiger population.
A few quotes and a poem to jog you up and get you motivated:
When did nature’s predator become the prey,
The great stripes mean no danger,
they shoot their guns unfazed,
the population declining further.
The fading roars of a once magnificent beast,
now nothing more than a rug while the killers feast.
How the teeth should be sunk into their necks, scratched their faces,
Now hang around as brooches and necklaces.
“Mercy, oh hunter for I have a life too” but even a beast such as the tiger,
Does not speak the tongue of the monster that’s its killer.
Let’s protect the tigers before they’re just fantasy and stories,
Before they are only a part of myths and history.
- The hunt is pure greed and none of need
- Killing animals for sport, for pleasure, for adventure, and for hides and furs is a phenomenon which is at once disgusting and distressing. There is no justification in indulging in such acts of brutality.” -Dalai Lama
- “Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology or a giraffe.” -Joy Adamson
- “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” -Mahatma Gandhi
- “Every individual matters, Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.” -Jane Goodall
- “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” -Anatole France
- “An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.” -Martin Bube
Important Facts About Tigers
- Prime Minister Modi released a report on tiger population: An All India Tiger Estimate Report was released by PM Narendra Modi in 2018. According to this report, the tiger population in the country increased from 1,400 in 2014 to 2,977 in 2019.
- National Animal of India: The national animal of India is the tiger. It’s a symbol of the country’s strength, pride, vigilance, intelligence and endurance. The tiger is a symbol of the Indian subcontinent.
- Currently, living species of tigers are Siberian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, Indo-Chinese Tiger, Malayan Tiger, Sumatran Tiger. At the same time, Bali Tiger, Caspian Tiger, Javan Tiger have become extinct. However, amidst all this, the number of tigers in India has steadily increased.
Reasons for Tiger Decline
- Poaching and illegal trade: For traditional Chinese medicines, tigers face the problem of poaching as there is a demand for every part of the body of the tiger. In illegal wildlife trades, they keep high prices.
- Habitat loss: Nowadays and with the increasing population forest are becoming less in numbers. Clearing of forests for several reasons like agriculture, industries, etc. made a loss of around 93% of the natural habitats of tigers.
- Climate Change: With the rise of sea level due to climate change lead to wiping out of Sundarbans one of the habitats of Royal Bengal Tigers.
- Several diseases are also the key factor. Several animals die and there is no way to ascertain the cause of their death. Certain diseases spread epidemic like Feline Panleucopania, tuberculosis, etc.
- The study of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) says that population in the park shown a loss of genetic diversity over the years.
- Degradation of Habitats: Big cats want secure and disturbance-free habitat to survive but due to several developmental activities in the landscape of the protected areas (PAs) pose a big threat to tigers.
- Man-animal conflict also affects the population of big cats.
- Lack of protection infrastructure.
- Increasing tourism day by day is also one of the factors for the decline in numbers.
Hoping to have opened your eyes to this issue that still needs work to reach the glory it once held. So let’s restore the crowns on these unofficial kings of the jungle. Have a nice day and keep learning! 🙂