Yesterday, Feb. 14th, was the beginning of the Chinese New Year. 2010 is designated as the Year of the Tiger, the Metal Tiger to be exact. According to Chinese astrology this year is one where strength and speed will be rewarded. So with that in mind I would like to direct your attention to the plight of the wild tiger.
Tigers have been on the endangered species list since the 1960s. At that time it was estimated that only 35,000 tigers remained in all of Asia. After more than 30 years of world wide conservation, in 2009 less than 3,500 wild tigers remain.
Massive infrastructure development throughout Asia has destroyed the majority of the tiger habitats and threaten the few remaining ones every day. Additionally, the growing economic prosperity in Asia has spawned a huge illegal trade in products made from tigers. Tigers are being treated as commodities to be traded as opposed to ecological assets to be protected and conserved. It is now considered a sign of status to serve Tiger meat to your dinner guests in some parts of Asia.
To learn more about the importance of tigers in the ecosystem and biodiversity check out the Save the Tiger Fund and download the free ebook, Ride the Tiger, Tiger Conservation in Human Dominated Landscapes.
Let’s not lose these magnificent cats to the cold cut platters of a dinner party. Let us act with strength and speed to save these big cats and the habitats that are necessary for their survival, after all it is the year of the Tiger.