July 29th is Global Tiger Day, also called International Tiger Day! A day to celebrate these magnificent striped creatures. But did you know that in 2010, there were less than 3,500 wild tigers left alive?
In fact, a century ago, there were 100,000 tigers on the planet. Today, there are less than 4,000.
Just eight years ago, the wild population for this beautiful big cat species had reached an all-time low. To wildlife lovers and conservationists alike, it's a plight that is all too familiar - declining populations of wild animals, big and small, almost on the verge of extinction.
But there's finally some good news for tigers: for the first time in a century, their numbers are increasing!
While this is news to be celebrated, conservationists the world over know there's still plenty of work to be done.
Tigers range in 13 different countries: Bangladesh, India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal, and Russia - all of which have teamed up with WWF and Project CAT to help bring tigers back from the brink. “We almost lost the tigers all together,” said Animal Planet's big cat expert Dave Salmoni.
That's why Project CAT, alongside the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is working with the 13 different countries. They're aiming to increase the wild tiger population by 2022--the next Year of the Tiger. They aim to tackle some of the tougher challenges that tigers face in the modern world: rampant poaching and habitat loss.
One of the main threats to tigers is poaching. Their furs are sold for their stunning pattern, and their bones and body parts are often used in traditional medicine in some parts of Asia.
Biologists predict that if something isn't done, tigers could go extinct within the next 10 years.
WORLD WILDLIFE FUND
Project CAT's collaboration with WWF seeks to ensure a healthy habitat for future generations of tigers by helping conserve nearly two million acres of protected land in India and Bhutan.
See what you can do to help save the tigers at Project CAT and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Did you know that there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild? See what you can do to help end the exotic pet trade in the US. Check out our Podcast interview with Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, the spearhead behind the Big Cat Act. The Big Cat Act is a federal bill that would end the private possession of big cats as pets and end cub petting.