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Tiger Essay

Four minutes of reading 923 words – 31 August 2012
English – original version

One of my most fa­vorite things to do when go­ing to the zoo is to see the big cats, most es­pe­cial­ly the tigers. The tiger is the largest of all big cats, and as of right now they are on the verge of ex­tinc­tion. The tiger is the top of the food chain in its nat­u­ral habi­tat. They are a revered an­i­mal among many cul­tures and are con­sid­ered to be one of the most beau­ti­ful an­i­mals on the plan­et. Due to poach­ing, il­le­gal trade and the en­croach­ment of their habi­tats, the tiger is now one of the most threat­ened species on earth and on the verge of ex­tinc­tion.
There are six sub­species of tiger to­day and all are on the en­dan­gered species list: the Amur bet­ter known as the Siberi­an, the fa­mil­iar Ben­gal, the In­dochi­nese, Malayan, South Chi­na, and Suma­tran. Sad­ly, the Bali, Ja­van, and Caspi­an sub­species have all gone ex­tinct in the last 70years (WWF). Wild tigers to­day can on­ly be found in the coun­tries of: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cam­bo­dia, Chi­na, In­dia, In­done­sia, Laos, Malaysia, Myan­mar, Nepal, and Far East in Rus­sia, Thai­land, and Viet­nam (WWF). Un­for­tu­nate­ly not all of these sub­species can be found in the wild any­more, to put it blunt­ly there are about 47South Chi­na tigers and they are all liv­ing in zoos in Chi­na (WWF).
Tigers aside from be­ing the largest and one of the most of beau­ti­ful of all big cats are al­so quite fas­ci­nat­ing. They can grow up to 118inch­es in length in­clud­ing the tail and weigh any­where from 310to 660pounds de­pend­ing on the species (WWF). The tiger is a most­ly soli­tary an­i­mal and lone hunter and will stalk its prey for a long time be­fore at­tack­ing (WWF). They can con­sume up to 88pounds of meat at one time. They will dis­play so­cia­ble be­hav­ior and adults may even share a kill which is rare for a preda­tor an­i­mal es­pe­cial­ly since they are such soli­tary an­i­mals (WWF). Sad­ly, one of the points that they are soli­tary and that they need such large parts of habi­tat to be wild and sur­vive is one of the facts that make their ex­tinc­tion seem in­evitable.
One of great­est threat to tigers in the wild is the loss of habi­tat ev­ery year. Tigers now oc­cu­py 7per­cent of the land­scape that they roamed on­ly a cen­tu­ry ago (WWF). In oth­er words, they have lost 93per­cent of their habi­tat in the last 100years and have had a 45per­cent de­crease in just the last ten years. These habi­tats are be­ing de­stroyed by hu­man ac­tiv­i­ties such as clear­ing forests for agri­cul­ture or build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties like roads. The tim­ber trade both le­gal and il­le­gal al­so takes a large part of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for the loss of the tiger’s nat­u­ral land­scape. “In­di­vid­u­al tigers have a large ter­ri­to­ry. Where prey is abun­dant, ter­ri­to­ries range forms 2,400acres to 4,900acres for fe­males and 7,400acres to 17,300acres for males (WWF). When the prey found is much less, their ter­ri­to­ries can be much larg­er. Tigers do range over their en­tire range over a pe­ri­od of days or weeks mark­ing their ter­ri­to­ry.

The oth­er largest prob­lems fac­ing tigers liv­ing in the wild is poach­ers. Poach­ing is il­le­gal but it is still a com­mon prac­tice that is now a threat to many en­dan­gered species. Tiger body parts have been used in Tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese Medicine and in some rit­u­als for over 1,000years; though TCM prac­ti­tion­ers have found al­ter­na­tives to tiger body parts (WWF). Sad­ly, that has not stopped the de­mand of dif­fer­ent body parts, such as bones, claws, teeth, and whiskers, and as long that there’s a de­mand, poach­ers will sup­ply them. You would think that tigers be­ing on the edge of ex­tinc­tion would tem­per peo­ple from buy­ing tiger body part but it has not.
In or­der to pro­tect this amaz­ing crea­ture in the wild that has roamed this earth for over a mil­lion years we must work to­geth­er to pro­tect them. The poli­cies against poach­ers must be­come stricter and they need to be stopped com­plete­ly. Some­thing needs to be done on the de­mand to con­sume tigers to stop the poach­ers. As much as we must pro­tect the tigers we need to pro­tect their nat­u­ral habi­tats the most (Sein­den­stick­er). Tigers can live up to 26years in the wild and are nev­er re­placed in their ter­ri­to­ry un­less killed de­lib­er­ate­ly, be­cause they are at the top of the food chain in the wild.
Com­mon sense seems to dic­tate that peo­ple should want to pro­tect this beau­ti­ful and amaz­ing wild crea­ture but sad­ly many do not care. The tiger has al­ways been my fa­vorite type of an­i­mal maybe be­cause it is a big cat or maybe be­cause they are so pret­ty and col­or­ful. I re­al­ly hope some­thing is done to stop the poach­ing and the shrink­ing of their nat­u­ral habi­tat. Es­pe­cial­ly since it seems like it would be sim­ple things done to stop them from be­com­ing an ex­tinct species, be­cause that would tru­ly be a sad thing.

Works Cit­ed
Chan­thavy Vongkhamheng, et al. “Bring­ing the Tiger Back from the Brink–The Six Per­cent So­lu­tion.” PLoS Bi­ol­o­gy 8.9 (2010): 1-4. Aca­dem­ic Search Com­plete. EB­SCO. Web. 7 Apr. 2011.
Seinen­stick­er, John.:Sav­ing Wild Tigers: A Case Study in Bio­di­ver­si­ty Loss and Chal­lenges to be Met for Re­cov­ery Be­yond 2010.” In­te­gra­tive Zo­ol­o­gy 5.4 (2010): 285-299. Aca­dem­ic Search Com­plete. EB­SCO. Web. 7Apr. 2011
WWF. World Wildlife Fund (WWF).Tiger Over­view. 2011. 5April 2011Web.