I want to protect endangered tigers.

Tigers are known globally to be one of the biggest and strongest land animals, but tiger’s population numbers have dropped so low they are now considered critically endangered. This is important because without us doing something, the population numbers are just going to keep going down until it’s too late.

Tigers are becoming extinct as a result of two factors, they face pressures from poaching and habitat loss. Tigers are forced to compete for space with growing human populations and communities. At the start of the 19th century a global count showed more than 100,000 tigers living in the wild. Another global count was done in the 1970s which showed about 4000 tigers left in the wild. Tigers roamed south East Asia freely a century ago. Now 70% of tigers live in the jungles of India and a few a scattered around south East Asia. The tiger has gone from a healthy species populating with ease, to a critically endangered species with zero chance of survival, if nothing is done about it.

If we don’t do something to save the tigers they will become extinct. India is the country with the most tigers currently living but the main reason tigers are being killed is because of poaching. Every year about 50 tigers are killed due to poaching. The tigers are killed by poachers laying a steel trap on well-known tiger trails. Once trapped the tiger is left to struggle all night long so that it is exhausted from trying to escape and then a simple hit from a heavy stick is sufficient to kill the tiger. Poachers kill tigers for their parts so they can sell them on the black market. Tigers today are worth more dead than alive which pushes the demand for people to poach. A single tiger paw today can be worth $1000. “Our goal should not only be zero poaching, but also for zero demand of wildlife parts," Manandhar a professional tiger trainer told WWF. Another main reason Tigers are dying is habitat loss. For example, Indonesian jungles cleared for palm oil plantations are blamed by many for huge drops in the numbers of Sumatran tigers.

If the Tiger is removed from its fragile food chain, it has serious and long lasting effects on biodiversity. This impacts on local communities, habitats and other animals which share the tiger's home. The tiger is at the top of the food chain in all the ecosystems it lives in. It keeps populations of deer, wild boar and other animals in check. Without the tiger to control them these prey species would expand as there will be nothing to kill them. Professional Safari guide, ranger and tracker: Rory Young stated, “If we lose the largest apex predator in the ecosystems of which the tiger is a part, this means a crucial link in the circle of life is broken and a ripple of change spreads through the whole former habitat”. Because of the population growth they will eat more vegetation and food sources which means the smaller animals and insects will need a new source of food. If the insects moved to the crops in farmlands vital food sources could be lost, impacting on human populations. If plants can’t grow in the jungle the soil will become infertile and eventually the jungle - and all that depend on it - will fade away”. Without tigers, there would be a rapid increase in herbivore populations and these herbivores would then ravage their food source - vegetation. This would mean habitat loss for smaller animals and insects.

It has been a big part of traditional Chinese culture to put animal and plant parts in medical treatment. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) uses approximately 1,000 plants and 36 animals, including the tiger, rhinoceros, black bear, and sea horse. The tiger, rhinoceros, and sea horse are endangered. The Tiger has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and people genuinely believe that certain parts of the tiger heal different things. Blood, Used to strengthen the constitution and build willpower. The Bone is Used as an anti-inflammatory to arthritis, rheumatism, back problems, general weakness, or headaches; also considered a powerful tonic. The Brain is used as treatment for laziness and pimples and the Eyeballs are used for a treatment for malaria and epilepsy, nervousness or fevers in children, convulsions and cataracts. Even though it is used in Chinese culture doesn’t mean it is legal. China formally banned domestic trade of tiger bone in 1993. The next year, some Chinese medical experts publicly reported the use and efficacy of tiger remedies. Today, very few pharmacies still openly carry remedies containing tiger products. But the market slipped underground and illegal networks still exist. Though tiger hunting is illegal everywhere, the killing has continued, and in some places, it’s accelerated. In the early 1990s, we feared that Chinese demand for tiger parts would drive the tiger to extinction by the new millennium. The tiger survives today thanks in large part to China's prompt, strict and committed action and U.S. support for it," said Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf, director of WWF's Species Program

We are losing tigers because of habitat loss and poaching. In order to save them we need to do two things, firstly we need to save their habitat and secondly we need to stop poaching. In order to save the habitat we can reduce deforestation by use the resources that we have more responsibly. We need to reduce our demand on trees and forest so that tigers can have a habitat that thy can actually survive in. It’s not just about saving the tigers, losing them would have an impact on the whole food chain that it lives and participates in. In order to stop poaching we need to have more people protecting the areas that the tigers live in but also we need to make tiger parts in less of a demand.  We need to do this because if we don’t poachers will just keep killing the tigers and they will go extinct.

·      By supporting this campaign you can make a difference to the terrible problem of Tiger poaching.

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