Most people look at tigers and see incredible creatures that represent grace and beauty. We can all appreciate the power a tiger shows and how they’re an integral part of this earth. However, tiger populations are in drastic decline. While we’ve been able to somewhat steady them in recent years, the populations still dropped from over 100,000 in the early 1900s to currently under 5,000. Tigers play an important role in the ecosystem, so it’s incredibly important to save this wonderful species.
People have made efforts to sustain tiger populations and attempt to breed the animal in captivity, but it’s an uphill battle to undo the damage already done to this species. Another huge issue is the overpopulation of tigers’ natural habitats. People come into contact with tigers and view them as a threat to their physical safety or livestock, but tigers are living where they’ve always been; it’s people who are encroaching into their territory.
If you want to know some more information about tigers, here are some facts that show how incredible they are and why it’s important we work to keep them on this planet.
One of the coolest facts about tigers is that they’re the largest species in the big cat family. Tigers typically grow to around 11 feet long and weigh over 600 pounds. While they’re fearsome predators, they rely much more on sight and sound than on their sense of smell. They can also run up to around 40mph in the right conditions and are known as incredible swimmers. Tigers can also easily climb and jump nearly 20 feet.
Types of tigers
Tigers are a fairly diverse species; unfortunately, all of the subspecies of tigers are currently extinct or considered endangered. For most of these subspecies, it’s difficult to tell the difference between the types, but a lot of the variation is related to where each subspecies primarily lives. There’s also a type of animal known as a “liger,” which is a cross between a lion and a tiger. However, tigers and lions do not mate in the wild because they rarely cross paths, but if held together in captivity, a liger may be born.
One of the issues surrounding the decimation of the tiger population is how long it takes them to reproduce. Tigers only leave their mothers at around two years of age and are only ready to have their own cubs between 3 or 5 years of age. The mortality rate for young tigers is incredibly high, with around half dying before reaching maturity. Because of this rate, it’s difficult for tigers to have lots of offspring and often only have 3 or 4 cubs per litter.
As mentioned previously, all subspecies of tigers are considered extinct or endangered. While we’ve been able to slow down the rate of extinction, far too many tigers are poached or killed for no reason. Many people are afraid of tigers because they sometimes attack people who have moved into their territories. Others view tigers as hunting trophies or sell them on the black market to people who believe tiger parts have medicinal value.
In order to save these incredible creatures, it’s important to educate others on their importance and ways to help save the species. If you’re interested in helping secure the future of these animals, donate here.