As recently as 50 years ago, eight tiger subspecies roamed throughout Asia.
Now only five remain. Human pressures from hunting and habitat destruction exterminated
the Balinese, Caspian, and Javan tigers in this century.
Based on tiger's reproductive success rate when the animal and its habitat is
left unmolested, the tiger as a species is in its evolutionary prime. (The same
can not be said of the Panda, for example.) Thus, if the tigers were to disappear,
the blame would squarely be place upon the human shoulders.
India, being home to about 60% of the world's wild tiger population, is now
the best hope for tiger survival. The Indian tiger is under severe pressure
from habitat reduction and poaching for Traditional Chinese Medicine.
With only 2000-3000 tigers left in severely fractured habitats in India, there
is a distinct threat that the wild tiger could collapse into the extinction
vortex in the near future and disappear forever.
In a country that has 3% of the earth's landmass and 20% on its human population,
it is a wonder that the Indian subcontinent has provided the wild tiger's safe
In the past, the cultural and spiritual traditions of the Hindu and Buddhist
faiths revered nature and many animals were deified and worshipped.
The maharajahs also set aside large tracts of land as hunting preserves that
provided a natural home to tigers and their prey. Along with colonialism came
large-scale sport hunting (which stopped in 1972) and combined with poaching
for Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern day business and industry, the tiger
population has been devastated and their habitat exploited for human needs.
Today there is still a will in the region to save the tiger. Law in India sets
tiger habitat aside, and significant financial resources are committed every
year by the governments to save the tiger. There are 22 tiger reserves and many
more national parks and sanctuaries.
Our focus is on wild tigers and we do not support captive breeding of tigers
- they are big cats in cages that would never survive if released into the wild.
One of the most fascinating facts about the wild tiger is the extremely close
and extended bond between the tigress and her cubs.
A tiger learns every survival skill from its mother - which can not happen if
they are fed in cages. If we preserve their habitat, they will live.
Probably the most important reason for saving the wild tiger - being at the
top of food chain, her survival means the survival of all other species that
live in her habitat and preserving the complex relationships within an ecosystem
that was created by Nature and that can not be recreated by man.
Indian Tigers Reservation Form