Here are five reasons why the tiger is endangered and I will stick to the point and provide an overview. If you want to read more about the tiger please search for information on this website. Don’t forget that I’m generalizing because there’s more than one species of tiger but the most populous tiger is the Bengal tiger living primarily in India.
The area provided to the tiger by humans in which to live has decreased dramatically, much more than 50%, over the last three generations. The tiger is being squeezed out of its habitat. So the first reason is a loss of habitat – a place to live – because of increased human activity including commercial activity e.g. logging and settlements in the main country where the tigers lives, namely India. A spin-off and overlapping reason which is included in this section is that people come into contact with tigers which can lead to tiger attacks which in turn can lead to retaliatory attacks by people upon tigers.
Poaching for body parts is one of the major hazards for the tiger. Many tigers are poached, killed and shipped via Myanmar and Thailand to China where they are eaten because the consumers believe that it improves their libido or something else, perhaps they think it makes them better businessmen, who knows. Body parts are also converted to Chinese medicine. It is nearly impossible to stop it despite some good attempts. Business overrules conservation. Corruption undermines conservation.
The global tiger population in 1998 was estimated at 5000-7000 which when compared to current figures indicates a decline of about 50%. So the third reason is that there is a consistent year-on-year decline in population numbers which obviously points to endangerment.
In an overlap with reason 3 above the population of mature individuals may be fewer than 2500. The places where these individuals live is fragmented. This has an impact upon inbreeding and sustainability. To ensure the survival of the tiger there needs to be large population sizes including high densities and high survival rates of breeding adult females. The numbers of breeding individuals appears to be declining and may not be reversible in all places. The tiger lives primarily in reserves in India and it is said that these reserves are sometimes too small to sustain a breeding population. We are told that at least two of the source populations referred to in research in 2010 by Walston have been lost. In 2006 the assessment was that there were 13 countries in which breeding tiger populations existed and today it is believed that these populations only occur in eight of those countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand and Russia.
The world population of tigers is precarious which leads to uncertainty about their future by which I mean whether this animal will continue to exist in the wild in the medium to long term future. The numbers continue to decline. The uncertainty leads to the classification of being endangered.