Tigers are near extinction in the wild that they could become extinct in the next 20 years. Their decline represents a crying visible failure to save endangered species and protect healthy environment. Fewer than 3,500 wild tigers live in 13 countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam) occupying less than 7% of their historical range, a dramatic plunge from an estimated 100,000 a century ago with 40,000 tigers in India alone. Cambodia, China, Vietnam, and DPR Korea historically known to have stable populations are left with no evidence of breeding populations. The irony is that more tigers are found in captivity in United States alone (about 5,000) than in the wild! The question is therefore more crucial than ever: can we save wild tigers?
Overhunting, destruction and fragmentation of habitat have been the main causes to the fast decline of tigers. Stopping overhunting including their preys is a key role in the conservation strategies of tigers. Overall, current tiger conservation activities are not reversing the decline in tiger numbers. On November 22, 2010, the World Bank organized the Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, the most significant meeting ever held to find solutions to save one single animal! The Tiger Summit aimed to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022, restore and reconnect tiger habitat on a large landscape level and bring illegal trafficking under control. However, the most important action to save tigers relies on the local level over large scales; the summit alone will not halt their decline. A colossal local involvement throughout various initiatives will warranty long-term success to save wild tigers. Those who are doing the daily in the field (and sometimes dirty) work to save tigers and their habitats (e.g., rangers and anti poaching units) have been underpaid and underrepresented. On the opposite, those writing documents in offices and participating in summits are highly paid! Local people are the backbone of future success and they should receive rewarding higher salaries and compensations for saving one of the most venerated animals on Earth. Based upon current population status, aggressive comprehensive conservation activities should be focused in India, Sumatra, and the Russian Far East where most tigers persist. Tiger will be seen as a test-case for whether countries and human being as a whole are really serious about saving biological diversity.
Tigers (Panthera tigris) occur only in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia. They can be found in broadleaf mixed forest, coniferous forest, mangrove forest, and tropical grass and shrubland. Tigers need an important prey base of large ungulates such as wild pigs and deer to survive in the natural habitat. They diet also include birds, fish, rodents, insects, amphibians, and reptiles. Tigers are usually solitary with adults having their own territories. Adult female home ranges seldom overlap between each others, whereas male ranges typically overlap from 1–3 females. Tiger home ranges are small (e.g., 20 km˛) where prey is abundant, whereas regions where prey is scarce then home ranges can reach 450 km˛. Males can reach a length of 3 meters long and weight up to 180 kg. Life span ranges from 15 to 20 years in the wild. Females can give birth up to seven young; however, the average is 2-3 young. The maturity age is reached between 3 and 6 years.