The Bengal tiger is located mostly in the Sundarbans forest in India. There are only an estimated 2,500 of Bengal tigers left in the wild and the species is considered to be endangered. Poachers and climate change are the main threats to the Bengal tiger. The Bengal tiger is a unique breed, an icon of India and a global symbol of pride and courage, so it must be saved from extinction.
Poachers are one of the two main causes of Bengal tiger endangerment. Poachers kill Bengal tigers to make money on the black market. Tigers are hunted and killed for their fur, bones and other body parts. Tiger organs and whiskers are also used to make traditional eastern medicines that aren’t medically proved to be effective. These medicines are mostly sold to and bought in China.
Some poachers are now trapping tiger cubs and smuggling them out of India for private buyers. Recently one couple was caught with two baby Bengal tiger cubs in bags. This is a problem because Bengal tigers belong in their natural habitat which is the only place they can truly thrive. In addition, in suburban areas the tigers could easily become hostile and be a danger to people around them. Bengal tiger cubs smuggled by poachers are often traumatised by the deaths of their parents and the loss of their native habitats. They can be abused as well.
Climate change is the other major cause of the decrease in the Bengal tiger population. Climate change is caused by the excessive use of electricity and burning of fossil fuels, which makes the sea level rise further and further into the Sundarbans forest. This makes the Bengal tiger’s habitat smaller. The rising sea level also causes dirty saline water to run into the tiger’s drinking water and this causes tigers to become sick and die. People all around the world can help save the Bengal tiger by taking personal action to stop climate change. Simple things everyone can do are to use energy efficient light bulbs and to recycle paper, cans and glass.
Loss of habitat and food sources are also threats to Bengal tigers. Many are suffering from starvation due to loss of prey. This is caused because of hunters looking for bush meat to feed their families and because of deforestation. The loss of habitat and corridors of land which allow unrelated tigers to mate also mean that the Bengal tiger’s gene pools are becoming weaker and the effects have been seen in some tigers.