The tiger is the largest of the world’s big cats and this magnificent creature, with its distinctive orange and black stripes and beautifully marked face, has a day that is dedicated to it.
Learn about International Tiger Day
International Tiger Day has been created so that people around the world can raise awareness for tiger conservation. The aim of the day is to help promote a worldwide system whereby we are dedicated to protecting tigers and their natural habitats.
We can also use this day to support tiger conservation issues and to raise awareness. After all, when more people are aware of something, they are going to be more inclined to help, and that is why this day is so important.
There are a number of different issues that tigers all around the world face. There are a number of threats that are driving tigers close to extinction, and we can do our bit to make sure that we do not lose these incredible creatures. Some of the threats that tigers face include poaching, conflict with humans, and habitat loss.
Poaching and the illegal trade industry is a very worrying one. This is the biggest threat that wild tigers face. Demand for tiger bone, skin, and other body parts is leading to poaching and trafficking. This is having a monumental impact on the sub-populations of tigers, resulting in localized extinctions. We often see tiger skins being used in home decor.
Moreover, bones are used for medicines and tonics. This has seen illegal criminal syndicates get involved in the tiger trade in order to make huge profits. It really is a worrying industry. In fact, it is thought to be worth 10 billion dollars per annum in the United States alone. This is why we need to support charities and work hard to put an end to poaching and the illegal trade of tiger parts.
While this represents the biggest threats to tigers, there are a number of other threats as well. This includes habitat loss. Throughout the world, tiger habitats have reduced because of access routes, human settlements, timber logging, plantations, and agriculture.
In fact, only around seven percent of the historical range of a tiger is still intact today. That is an incredibly small and worrying amount. This can increase the number of conflicts between tigers, as they roman about and try to locate new habitats. Not only this, but genetic diversity can reduce because it can cause there to be inbreeding in small populations.
Did you know:
- Currently, tigers populate 13 countries where they roam naturally: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Tigers are the largest cat species in the world, and the third-largest carnivore on land; only polar and brown bears are larger. Siberian tigers (the largest subspecies) weigh up to 660 pounds.
- At top speed, tigers clock nearly 40 mph.
- The name of a large wild cat with large black strips comes from the ancient Persian word “taig” meaning fast and sharp.
- Tigers are always on the move. Their turf can be as large as 386 sq miles or 1000 sq km.
- Like other cats, tigers are carnivores, and they are essential to keep their range in an ecological balance. They prey on smaller animals that are herbivores, and so maintain a balance between the plant-eating animals and the vegetation on which they feed.
- An adult tiger consumes up to 88 pounds of meat in one meal.
- The average lifespan of a wild tiger is 10-15 years.
- Unlike most big cats, tigers are powerful swimmers. Not only do they swim, but they also swim great distances to hunt or cross rivers. Young tigers often play in water and adults lounge in streams or lakes to stay cool during the heat of the day.
- Tigers are the only cat species that are entirely striped. When shaved, their skin has the identical stripe as their fur.
- While other cats meow, tigers do not meow. Tiger vocalizations include roaring, growling, hissing, moaning.
History of International Tiger Day
This was first celebrated in 2010 and was founded at an international summit that had been called 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.
Tigers are on the brink of extinction and International World Tiger Day aims to bring attention to this fact and try to halt their decline. Many factors have caused their numbers to fall, including habitat loss, climate change, hunting and poaching and Tiger Day aims to protect and expand their habitats and raise awareness of the need for conservation.
Many international organizations are involved in the day, including the WWF, the IFAW and the Smithsonian Institute.