International Tiger Day – 29th July
International Tiger Day was created so that people around the world can raise awareness for tiger conservation. Threats such as poaching, conflict with humans and habitat loss are driving tigers to near extinction.
History of International Tiger Day
The day was established in 2010. It was founded by the International Tiger Summit. The summit had been called to respond to news that 97% of wild tigers had disappeared in the last century. In 2010 there were roughly only 3000 tigers left in the wild.
Despite conservation efforts tigers are still classed as endangered by the IUCN. Increasing their numbers is slow progress but there are now estimated to be 3900 wild tigers, so a slight improvement on the figures 10 years ago.
Many organisations are involved in tiger conservation, including the WWF. Animal adoptions promoted by the WWF give a huge boost to the work they are doing. They aim to double tiger numbers by 2022. They help fund projects working to reduce poaching, and help those living near tigers to benefit from them rather than be threatened by them.
Tigers used to roam across most of Asia but are now restricted to 7% of their original range. They inhabit isolated forests and grasslands across 13 Asian countries. They are top predators and help retain a balanced ecosystem. As carnivores they prey on other animals such as deer. Without tigers the deer overgraze and damage the land and disrupt the balance. Local people depend on their environment for food and water and other resources, therefore it is in their interest to keep the balance. Helping tigers helps the environment within which they live.
If you are interested in learning more about how to help protect tigers please visit our Adopt a Tiger page.