29 July: International Tiger Day
The World on 29 July 2014 observed the International Tiger Day. The day is celebrated as an awareness day. The goal of the Tiger Day is to promote protection and expansion of the wild tiger habitats and also to gain support awareness for tiger conservation.
At present the number of wild tigers is at its lowest. In last 100 years, around 97 percent of the total tigers population have been lost. In 1913, the world has about 1 lakh wild tigers, which has dropped to 3000 in 2014. As per estimates, India in 2010 had 1706 wild tigers that increased from 1411 in 2006. Among the 13 tiger-range countries, India has the highest number of tiger population.
Decrease of their population
• 1913 – About 1 lakh tigers were available
• 2013 (in 100 years) – The population went down to 3724 tigers
• 2014 – The population has gone down to 3000
It is estimated that if the rate of extinction continues at this rate then all living tigers in the wild could become extinct in 5 years.
Species of Tigers
Tigers are categorised by the colour of their fur and includes White tigers (rarely occurs once in about 10000 births). Mainly there are six species of tigers that lives in the wild at present and they are
• Siberian tigers
• Bengal tigers
• Indochinese tigers
• Malayan tigers
• Sumatran tigers
• South China tigers
Apart from this, several subspecies of tigers had already extinct which includes Bali Tigers and Javan Tigers.
Cause of decrease of their population
Expansion of cities and agriculture by humans has lead to a loss of 93 percent natural habitat of wild tigers. Poaching is another reason that has made tigers fall into the vulnerable category of IUCN. They are poached for their skins, bones and other body parts, which are consumed as traditional medicines and some time they are also killed as status symbols.
Apart from this, climate change is also a major reason that acts as a threat to population of wild tigers. Climate change is leading to rise in sea levels which poses risk of wiping out of the forests, particularly in Sundarban region, and hence the remaining habitat of the tiger population in this region. Study of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) suggests that sea level will rise by nearly a foot by 2070, which is enough to destroy nearly entire Sunderbans tiger habitat.
World’s largest number of tiger populations is majorly found in Sundarbans (a large mangrove forest area shared by India and Bangladesh) located on northern coast of Indian Ocean.
About International Tiger Day
The decision to observe 29 July as World Tiger Day was taken in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit because at that moment wild tigers were too close to extinction. In the summit, the governments from 13 tiger-range countries committed to double the number of wild tigers by 2022.
Where: across the world
What: was observed .
When: on 29 July 2014