TWO MILLION YEARS LATER…
THE QUEENS OF ASIA ARE AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
POACHING AND HABITAT DESTRUCTION ARE THE MAIN CAUSES
THE PANTHERA TIGRIS
Sara Cabrini, Luca Graziani, Camilla Manno, Gabriele Santo
The tiger, the magnificent animal that has lived on our planet for about 2 million years, is in danger of disappearing in a short time. The number of examples of the species has decreased by 97% since 1900 because of men. In the last century there were about 100,000 tigers, while today there are only 3,200. In a few years, the tiger is at risk of becoming part of the EW category (Extinct in the wild). Three species of Panthera tigris (name attributed by Linnaeus in 1758) have already become extinct: the Bali tiger, the Caspian tiger, and the Java tiger. They have disappeared mainly because of poaching and the invasion of their habitat, which represent the greatest threats. Even today, tigers are hunted both by poachers, in order to illegally trade parts of their bodies, and for superstition and sport, particularly in India.
LET’S SAVE TIGERS
Then various activities practiced by men have stolen space and prey, therefore tigers have
approached villages. This has definitely to be stopped. Several initiatives have been activated to stop the extinction of other
animals in addition to 35,000 species which have already become extinct.
The 13 tiger host countries, for example, have
planned to double the number of wild animals by 2022. This is called the Tiger Alive Initiative Project, and is also supported by the
WWF. The main goals are the fight against poaching and the ban on building roads near
the natural habitat of tigers.
Another important project is the Tiger Program, launched in 1973 by Indira
Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s daughter: it aims at protecting species and their prey from poachers, preserving their natural
habitat and supporting the populations that live in the territories of the animal.
THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE TIGER
The International Day of the Tiger has been established on July 29th in order to raise awareness about its future. On the World Day in 2014, the World Animal Protection (WAP) association published a report that denounces the intense business developed thanks to the exploitation of the tiger in Thailand: about 830 examples were kept in captivity in the Temple of the Tigers, in cruel conditions and with the sole purpose of attracting tourists interested in having some photos taken. Nowadays this no longer happens, but a place called Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yannasampanno (the original name for Temple Tiger) has been built, in the Umphang area. Here a habitat is given to these species so that they can survive without anyone invading their space. In this protected place, the WWF promotes the protection of the Panthera Tigris by adopting three measures:
•Installing more video traps to obtain information on tigers and their prey, so that it will be possible to adopt more targeted protection measures;
•Getting information and sharing the project with local authorities and people; •Analysing the collected data and share them with other regions in order to protect tigers.
The same WAP has also started an online petition to ask TripAdvisor,
an online travel platform, to stop ticket sales and promotion of activities that can harm tigers. The initiative managed to collect more than 558,000 subscriptions.
Although the most recent surveys have confirmed some improvements, tigers remain at risk of extinction.
The latest examples are distributed in 13 countries of Asia, such as Nepal, India, China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan and Russia