Tigers certainly belong to a list of the most famous animals threatened with extinction. The main reasons for their rapid decline in population are habitat loss and poaching. The latest report estimate there is still around 3000 tigers living in the wild, with half of that number living in India.
In the sea of bad news regarding the survival of tigers many environmentalists have started fearing the worst, namely the extinction of this majestic animals. Can tigers still be saved?
If the latest news are true then there are certainly some encouraging signs that give hope about world being able to save tigers from going extinct. According to a new official census published in Delhi the number of tigers in India has risen for the first time in ten years, with the total number of tigers in India climbing to 1550, up by 10% from the 2008 numbers.
Some environmentalists dispute this census by claiming that it also included the vast jungle and swamp areas of the Sunderbans, an estuary zone on the Bay of Bengal that had previously proved to difficult to properly survey. On the other hand some environmentalists even claim that the methods used for this census allowed the same tiger to be counted more than once.
Though these latest figures are far from guaranteeing total certainty regarding the actual number of tigers they are at least giving this issue some positive note.
It also has to be said that the main problems still remain, despite the increase in tiger population. The increase in human population is constantly shrinking tiger habitats which leads to frequent conflicts between tigers and humans. Poaching is still a major threat because the demand for traditional medicines in China (which tigers are important part of) is growing due to the China's economic rise.
While we shouldn't be looking at things only from negative perspective we also have to remain realistic about it. Tiger conservation will be anything but easy, and tigers are still far away from being saved from extinction.
World's biggest cat is sadly still in big trouble.