Considering tiger as endangered species - Reasons and Importance.
Considering tiger as an endangered species - Reasons and Importance
Question :- The tiger population in India has suffered a serious decline in the past 50 years. Why is the tiger considered to be an endangered species? Why is there a need to save tigers?
The tiger is the one of the 10 most endangered animals in the world. India holds the world's half of the tiger population. After the implementation of certain laws and programs, there has been a better increase in the tiger population. It has increased from 1706 in 2011 to 2226 in 2014. In India, the Bengal tigers are the most endangered subspecies of tiger.
Reason for considering tiger to be an endangered species
The tigers are considered to be the endangered species as they are being poached by the hunters for various reasons. The different body parts of the tiger are used for many purposes.
-Source of money – Due to the varied uses of tiger products, it is a source of money for the poachers. Most of the tiger parts end up in China, wherein the cost of a single skin cell is 6.5 million. The poachers hunt the tigers of their body parts which are sold on the black market.
- Tiger Whiskers are used to relieve the toothaches. It is most powerful when it is removed from a live tiger.
- Tiger Brain is used to treat pimples and laziness.
- Tiger gall is made in the form of tablets to cure the bone diseases.
- Tiger flesh is cooked for skin disease.
- Tiger eyeballs used to treat malaria.
- Tiger bone – It is used to treat headaches and weakness. It is said to be highly valued for its strength in traditional medicine.
- Tiger claws are used as a sedative for insomnia.
- The tiger fat is used to treat leprosy.
-Deforestation – A lot of deforestation is taking place due to the illegal felling down of trees and mining activities. Because of the deforestation, the number of tiger-preys are declining. Thus, the tigers have to come out of the protected areas for hunting. This leads to man-animal conflicts, poaching etc.
-Superstitious beliefs – In India, most of the tiger poaching are done by the tribals who know their areas well.
- The tiger tail is usually sold along with the skin. But in certain cases, it is sold separately. The tail is believed to help the owner from curses if it is kept at home.
- It is believed by the Indonesian people that the tiger skin possess certain powers. It is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity.
- The local and tribal people in India believe that tiger claws bring good luck to those who wear them. The claws are mixed with the gold to make pendants.
-Religious purpose – The tiger paw is used by certain people for rituals.
-Protection – The tiger fat is used by the farmers as a protection against the damage of crops by the pig.
Need to save tiger
-Conserve the forest – Saving the tigers means you have to save forests because tigers cannot dwell in the places from where the trees have been vanished. To make sure all the other herbivores of the forest roam around freely, the tigers should be saved. Saving a tiger can save the forest habitat.
-Ultimately protection of river and groundwater sources – The forest catch help to store the rainwater and protects the soil. This helps to protect the river and the ground water sources. Areas with less tress lead to flood and destroy the environment and homes of the people. The flood washes away the soil and creates a wasteland. By destroying the tiger's home, we not only harm the tigers but also ourselves.
-National animal – Tiger is the national animal of India and is also known as the Lord of the Jungles. It is a symbol of India's wildlife wealth.
-Maintain the food-chain balance – Tiger takes the top most place in the food web as well as in the terrestrial ecosystem. The tiger depends on deer, sambar and gaur and keeps a check on it. Without the tiger, these prey species would expand and the vegetation would be devastated. This would in turn reduce the number of small animals and insects that depend on the vegetation. There are less of the tigers left in the Indian forests and considered to be the endangered species. It is the duty and the responsibility of the people and the government to protect and conserve the tigers.
-Eco-tourism – Eco-tourism protects the natural resources as the local residents realize the value of what they possess and they preserve it. Tigers can attract a lot of tourists and thus, the it can increase the rate of eco-tourism in the country. A healthy tiger population is an indication that the other ecological components are equally strong.
-Cultural Importance – In most parts of India, especially in Sunderbans, tigers are worshiped as deities. In Hindu Mythology, tiger is believed to be the vehicle of Goddess Durga.
Facts and Figures
- Tiger is one of the 10 most endangered animal in the world.
- The last species of tigers to become extinct were the Javan Tiger in the 1980's.
- The Balinese Tiger became extinct in 1937.
- In the 1950’s the Caspian Tiger became extinct.
- In China, tigers are killed for their bones. The bones are used for medicinal purpose.