What is it?
September is the month dedicated, by the World Wildlife Fund, to the protection of tigers throughout the world.
Why do they need protecting?
Well in the past 100 years the number of wild tigers has dropped by about 95% to only just over 3000 and three sub-species; Bali, Caspian, and Javan; have become extinct. There are now only six sub-species of tiger left in the wild; Amur (Siberian), Bengal (Indian), Indo-Chinese, Malayan, Sumatran and South Chinese; but they are in real danger of extinction.
Why are their numbers decreasing?
There are many reasons including poaching for fur or body parts used in some Asian medicines, climate change, habitat loss, the decline in prey numbers and human conflict.
You see, the areas in which the tigers live is being destroyed because cities or towns are expanding into tiger habitats, the trees are being cut down for wood and in some areas, extra pressure on the tiger’s environment is brought on by climate change. This leads to tigers being forced to leave their existing home and search for a new habitat where their food sources may be depleted and they are more vulnerable to natural disasters like fire and flood.
Where do wild tigers live?
There is no one place where tigers live; they are native to India, Far East Russia, South-East China and Indonesia. Depending on the sub-species they can live in mangrove tree swamps, evergreen and monsoon forests or woodlands.
How can I help to protect the tigers?
Adopt a tiger with WWF for just £3 p/m or make a one-off donation on http://www.wwf.org.uk