The story of tigers is a sad one. In the beginning of the 20th century, they numbered 100,000, but now they have dwindled to a mere 3,000. But there is one bright spot – India, where concerned conservation efforts have had striking effects.
According to Prakash Javadekar, India’s environment minister, the number of tigers in the country, have increased to 2,226 from 1,411 seven years ago, a rise of nearly 58 percent. India is now home to about 70 percent of the world’s wild tigers,
How did they do it? Brian Clark Howard at National Geographic says the biggest gains for the country’s wild population have been large, protected parks. Sometimes entire villages had to move to make room for parks, but the results have been dramatic. Severe penalties for poaching – some regions around the country have declared it legal for poachers to be shot and killed on sight. Desperate times call for desperate measures…
The main reasons tigers are endangered are illegal hunting for their beautiful pelts, meat and body parts as well as habitat loss that results from logging and other forms of forest destruction. Chinese medicine has always made use of tiger parts, but the increase in the standard of living in southeast Asia it has only been in recent years that has made these remedies available to most people. In addition, in many places in China, tiger parts are a delicacy that is served at special private banquets.
Via: All about wildlife, National Geographic, Tigers in Crisis