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Saving the Planet One Tiger at a Time
By Shaka Williams

What animal has captured the hearts and minds of society for generations? The tiger. From art to advertising and as a symbol of untamed nature, tigers have brought wonder to the imagination of man. Sadly, the tiger is on the verge of vanishing from the wild forever. Guess which species is to take the lion’s share of the blame? If you guessed humans, then you are right.

Today the population of wild tigers has dwindled to fewer than 3,200 and continues to fall. This is all due to the human demand for tiger skins and bones as well as the overhunting of the tigers’ prey like deer and wild pigs. The current populations of wild tigers live in only seven percent of their original range.

World leaders have recently gathered in St. Petersburg, Russia for a Global Tiger Summit. Hosted by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the summit focused on saving wild tigers from extinction and doubling their numbers by the next year of the tiger: 2022. Government leaders across Asia have already realized that the limited resources dedicated to the conservation of tigers have not slowed down the dreadful practice of deforestation or deterred the barbaric criminal syndicates that traffic in wildlife parts. The thirteen countries in Asia that where tigers are indigenous have agreed to fulfill this obligatory objective.

Having good intentions are not enough to win the battle to save the wild tiger. The thirteen Tiger Range Countries are proposing a five year $350 million Global Tiger Recovery Plan which will combat devastating deforestation and ruthless poaching and the bloodthirsty market for tiger parts. The money from the plan is being poured in from governmental and private sources. Money to enact the plan is coming from private and governmental organizations. The World is also contributing towards ensuring that wild tigers no longer face the risk of extinction.

Even though wild tigers are not indigenous to the United States it is crucial that we participate in their rescue. Saving wild tigers is an undeniable money-making means of safeguarding so much more that is vital to the life on Earth. You are editorializing!

Called the umbrella species by conservationists, saving tigers equates with saving everything linked to them such as some of the world’s last vast majestic forests. The very forests that are the lungs of our dear planet, since they store up the carbon to diminish the deadliest beast of all: climate change.

It was written by the Mahabharata of India over 2,400 years ago, “Do not cut down the forest with it’s tigers and do not banish the tigers from the forest. The tiger perishes without the forest and the forest perishes without it’s tigers.”

Tigers are indicators of a forest ecosystem’s health and well-being.

People at home can also take part in conserving tigers. The U.S. has many more tigers in captivity than there are in the wild lands of Asia. From New York to Texas, tigers are sleeping in American backyards, private breeding facilities and roadside zoos.

We require a federal agency to monitor these tiger pets, ensuring that they don’t end up in the illegal black market for wildlife products. We can block loopholes in the Endangered Species Act and Animal Welfare Act. We can also provide agencies, such as The United States Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture with the financial support that they require.

An ethical reason for the protection of wild tigers is that tigers are priceless gifts of nature. If they vanish a huge part of the uniqueness of Asia will vanish with it. They have survived with humanity for millennia and deserve to continue to exist on our planet just as much as humans do.
In India, the tiger is the country’s national animal. It is a symbol of India’s national pride and heritage. Saving wildlife and the forests is enshrined in the country’s constitution.

Hundreds of rivers that people rely on for irrigation and drinking water originate in the forests that tigers call home. If we allow tigers to die out, the political will to save the forests and all our lives would be put at risk by deforestation from mining and timber mafias.
All the threats that wild tigers face are man-made and hence can be solved if we take action now.

It’s our duty to save the wild tigers. Our future generations deserve to witness the true king of beasts roaming the wild forests of Asia.
We can save the tiger by donating to conservation organizations such as World Wildlife Fund in order to help raise emergency funding for anti-poaching patrols. Never buying anything that contains tiger parts and encourage others not to buy tiger products as well. Another way to help save tigers is to buy certified forest friendly products and spread the word about the threats tigers face.

The more people are aware of the tiger’s plight the greater chance that tigers have for surviving. It’s up to us to help save our tigers.





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