The tiger population has suffered a serious decline in the last 50 years. These majestic animals have but a few enemies – large buffaloes, elephants, bears and humans. By far, humans have caused more damage to the tiger population than tigers to humans.
As few as 3200 wild tigers are left due to poaching and people cutting down trees. Though several conservative measures have already been imposed and various nations have come together to stop poaching of tigers and sell of tiger products, tigers are still illegally hunted.
Tigers traditionally live in the mangrove forests on the costs of India. Rising sea levels could cause these swamps to vanish altogether. Because of the climate change, tigers are facing the heat too. As polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, eating away the coastlines. Sea water also moves upriver, causing tiger’s drinking water to be concentrated with salt. This is causing the Tigers to move northwards and increasing the likelihood of humans lynching the poor animal who is just displaced from its home.
Rampant deforestation is also eating away the tiger’s natural habitat. Humans are also taking away most of the tiger’s prey. So, the tigers, driven by hunger has to venture out of the jungle to search for food. This increases the likelihood of human-tiger conflict which most often results in the tiger’s death. But the main reason why Tigers around the world are endangered is because they are illegally hunted for their fur, bones and body parts.
Tigers were hunted since ancient times as a sport. They are illegally killed or poached because their pelts are valuable in the black market trade, their body parts are used in traditional Asian medicines, and necklets of tiger claws are thought to protect a child from “the evil eye” in India. In the 1990s, poaching had escalated in China and Korea, in spite of the Chinese ban on tiger products in 1993. This caused the South China Tiger to be critically endangered. None of the species of the South China Tiger has been sighted for a number of years, and the species may be extinct.