Tiger (Panthera tigris Tigris) is our national animal. It is the largest member of the cat family with males having a length of 2.5m to 3.9m and females having a length of 2m to 2.8m. They have the majestic physique and stunning features of a king. Thus, they have been chosen as the national animal of India, Malaysia, South Korea and Bangladesh.
Not just psychologically but also zoologically and ecologically they have great significance. They are the true arteries of the forest. One can check out the number of tiger in a tiger inhabited forest to find out how healthy the ecology is. They mostly eat injured or diseased animals, and ensure Charles Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ to be true. Their diet is mainly composed of ungulates like deer, buffaloes, gaurs and pigs. They also regulate human intervention in forests. In a country like India, where lion population is confined to Gir forests in Gujarat, tigres play an enormous role as an apex predator.
But sadly, tiger population is dwindling. There are only 3200 tigers left in the wild.Fast paced urbanisation is a curse for them. Tigers ae being killed as a result of human-animal conflict. Illegal poaching, pet market, traditional Chinese medicines and tiger ranching factorise for tiger extinction. India which boasts highest tiger population in the world has only 1411 tigers in the wild. This is a crying shame for a country with tiger as national animal, since it is like losing a national symbol.
If tigers go extinct humans will suffer. Herbivores will then roam uncontrollaby and cause deforestation to the extension of causing ozone depletion. Never the less, the government is trying its best by setting up laws and educating people. Many tiger reserves have been set up.
On our part,we can sacrifice our lives and careers to save tigers and becoming ecologists or atleast animal lovers.
KILLING TIGERS IS TARNISHING OUR SELF ESTEEM.