Affected by: Illegal wildlife trade , Human wildlife conflict , Habitat loss and fragmentation , Climate change
The beautiful, awe-inspiring tiger is one of our planet’s most iconic animals. But here’s the shocking truth. Wild tiger numbers dropped by more than 95% since the beginning of the 20th century. Now, for the first time in conservation history, their numbers are on the increase.
Since 2010, we have been working to help double the number of wild tigers to over 6,000 by 2022 – the Lunar Year of the Tiger.
In recent years, conservation work and the commitment of various governments has halted the decline in global tiger numbers. But there’s a lot more work to do.
We’re working closely with governments and community groups across Asia – and your support is crucial, as always. Will you join us, and help protect this amazing wild cat?
Where do tigers live?
Tigers can live in a wide variety of natural habitats, from forested habitats, grasslands and mangrove swamps to harsh, snowy forests of the Russian Far East. The tiger is the biggest species of cat on the planet. In Northeast Asia, they tend to be larger with longer hair, while tigers on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia tend to be smaller, and are found in tropical rainforests.
India is home to more wild tigers than any other country, from the Terai Arc Landscape in the north to the Western Ghats in the south. Although, in mainland southeast Asia, their numbers are in decline and are believed to be extinct in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam.
Why tigers are so important
As top predators, and ‘umbrella species’ tigers help to keep their environment healthy.
It’s the way things naturally work in the wild – the predators prey on other animals, in this case herbivores (plant eaters) such as deer. But without enough tigers to eat them, herbivores can overgraze and damage the land, disrupting the balance of the local environment.
Local people also depend on a healthy environment for food, water and lots of other resources. By helping protect tigers we’re also helping look after the places where they live, which is good for all the people and wildlife sharing that environment.
Tigers and climate change
Climate change poses a growing threat to us all – tigers included.
Rising sea levels are threatening critical tiger habitat, warming temperatures affect distribution of tree species which can impact tiger prey species, and there is an increased danger to tigers and tiger habitat of extreme weather events, like flooding or forest fires.
In addition, habitat changes due to climate change can bring tigers closer to human communities, leading to increased conflict and suffering for both humans and tigers.