(TIGERS/WILDLIFE CONSERVATION) Today, July 29 marks International Tiger Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness for tiger conservation. However, considering the world has lost approximately 97 percent of all wild tigers in just over 100 years, every day should be Tiger Day!
While it is estimated that as many as 5,000 tigers are kept captive in U.S. backyards, there are less than 3,000 tigers living in the wild today.
Because tigers are one of the most admired animals in the animal kingdom, this makes them particularly vulnerable to endangerment.
A number of tiger species have already gone extinct, and at this rate, all tigers could be extinct within the next five years.
In fact, the total number of tigers was around 1,706 in 2010, after dipping to an all-time low of 1,411 in 2006. This alarming decline in population ultimately sparked the founding of International Tiger Day at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010.
Given that tigers have lost over 90 percent of their natural habitat due to human expansion, the ultimate goal of Tiger Day is to bring attention to protecting and expanding wild tiger habitats.
Although there are 13 tiger-range countries, India currently has the highest number with over 2,200 tigers–which accounts for 70 percent of the world’s total tiger population.
According to Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, while the tiger population is falling globally, numbers are actually on the rise in India.
Let’s keep these numbers rising! For more information on how to help save tigers from extinction, visit the official International Tiger Day website.