As many of you might have come across already, today, 29th July is observed as the “International Tiger Day”. This is commemorated every year since 2010 to spread awareness about the dangers faced by tigers, to conserve the tiger species, and to preserve their natural habitats.
This year, the theme for the day is ‘Their survival is in our hands’.
According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), these wild cats are one of those keystone species that are crucial for the integrity of the ecosystems in which they live. In short, when tigers thrive, the whole ecosystem thrives. They help in maintaining the harmony of nature.
In spite of being apex predators, do tigers really face dangers? Undeniably, that’s a yes. Most declining tiger populations are threatened primarily by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and wildlife trade, declining prey base, and conflicts with humans.
What can humans do?
- As a tourist, adhere to guidelines of the forest department and stay responsible without polluting the environment.
- Spread awareness on online forums, clubs, or start discussions in community circle.
- Discourage deforestation and ensure that their natural habitat remains in one piece in your locality. The tiger footprint has dramatically decreased and today their range is limited to only seven percent of the area they originally covered. In case you find major disturbances, voice your concerns, write to your local MP and request protective measures.
- Support policies that aim to protect tigers and encourage scientific research on the same.
- Be informed about human-wildlife conflict mitigation. Co-existence is very much essential.
“When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport, when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.”~ George Bernard Shaw
India is home to 51 tiger reserves across its 18 states and has 70 percent of the world’s tigers in the wild. Here’s a video from one of its tiger reserves, known as the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, that is famous for tiger tourism.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”~ Mahatma Gandhi
As stated by ‘All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018’, the tiger population in the country has risen from 1411 in 2006 to 2967 in 2019. It’s good news that India is emerging to be one of the biggest and safest habitats of tigers in the world. Let’s do our part to keep this improving trend in the conservation of tigers going!