29 July: International Tiger Day
International Tiger Day was observed on 29 July 2016. The day is held annually on 29th July to give worldwide attention to the reservation of tigers.
The goal of the day is to promote a global system for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and to raise public awareness and support for tiger conservation issues.
It was founded in 2010 at the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit, with the aim to double the big cat population by 2022.
- As per latest data by tiger experts, the world has lost 97 percent of all wild tigers in a little over 100 years.
- The World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum says that the number of wild tigers has gone up to 3890 from the earlier 2010 estimate of 3200.
- In 1915, the number of tigers was 1 lakh.
- Some species of tigers have already been extinct.
- India leads tiger population countries with an estimated population of 2226.
- Despite countries such as India, Nepal, Russia and Bhutan registering a rise in tiger population, the status of the animal remains endangered.
Poaching and loss of Habitat
- Poaching has been the biggest threat to tigers in India. 81 tigers were victims to poachers in 2014, 25 in 2015 and by April 2016 it was 28.
- According to reports of United Nations Environment Programme and Interpol, the environmental crime industry, which includes illegal trade in wildlife, is worth 258 billion dollars.
- Expansion of cities and agriculture by humans led to loss of 93% natural habitat for tigers lost
- Fewer tigers can survive in small, scattered islands of habitat, which make tigers more vulnerable to poaching, which lead to a higher risk of inbreeding.
- Sundarbans, a large mangrove forest area shared by India and Bangladesh on the northern coast of the Indian Ocean, is one of the world’s largest places where tiger populations is found.
- Sundarbans harbors Bengal tigers and protects coastal regions from storm surges and wind damage.
Threat in Sundarbans
- Rising sea levels that were caused by climate change threaten to wipe out these forests and the last remaining habitat of this tiger population.
- WWF study says that without mitigation efforts, projected sea level rise will go up by nearly a foot by 2070, which could destroy nearly the entire Sundarbans tiger habitat.
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