Wild Tigers Going ExtinctPublished December 1, 2010
"Tiger, tiger, burning bright in the forests of the night", the opening words of William Blake's famous poem, "The Tiger," kept ringing in my mind as I was reading an article on the Wildlife Conservation Society's site about tigers -- one of the most mysterious and beautiful species of big cats -- which I found quite disturbing.
The numbers of magnificent Tigers in the wild are hovering on the verge of extinction caused by poaching and habitat destruction.
It is estimated by scientists that today there are only 3,200 tigers living in the wild. What makes the tiger's future even more bleak is that only 1,000 of these cats are breeding females.
The crisis that the tiger population is facing -- which affects the entire continent of Asia and the Russian Far East - also threatens biological diversity. In order to recover the tiger population, the International Forum for Tiger Conservation met in St. Petersburg, Russia from November 21-24, during the Chinese Lunar Calendar Year of the Tiger. Participants hailed from the conservation organizations of 13 tiger range countries, including China and Russia, along with other advocates for tiger conservation. It was hosted by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Government for the Russian Federation.
These highly concerned and passionate groups plan to double the population of tigers throughout the world, by the next Year of the Tiger in 2022.
Read more about their work by visiting tigersummit.ru.
The Wildlife Conservation Society is urging people to get involved.
You can help by contacting your senators and representatives asking them to co-sponsor S.Res 680/H.Res 1722.
Introduced in the Senate by Senator John F. Kerry and in the House by Representative Madeleine Z Bordallo, as a bipartisan resolution, it highlights the benefits of United States conservation efforts and the building of stronger diplomatic relations with tiger range countries.
Take a moment to watch the sobering video, Last Best Chance to Save the Wild Tiger? uploaded to YouTube by WorldBank.
What concerns do you have about the extinction of tigers in the wild? Leave a comment and share.
Image Souce: Flickr user tambako