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Transcript of Endangered Tigers
Due to the tiger's popularity in medicine as well as in cosmetics, the population of the tiger has drastically decreased since the past century.
Facts Cont: Decrease in tiger populations
Due to the tiger's role as top predator, it is really important that the tiger will not become extinct one day because of a great danger to the biodiversity of the habitat that it lives in.
Tepper, Rachel. "Tiger Bone Wine Trade Reveals China's Two-Faced Approach To Conservancy". The Huffington Post. February 28, 2013. March 01, 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/tiger-bone-wine-china_n_2782772.html>
The solution Cont.
Background and History
The Solution Cont.
Because the tiger species live in countries that have low economies, the communities who hunt them are driven by money and sometimes survival.
For many , the hunting of tigers have become an engrained tradition that has been passed down.
Instead of forcefully banning the livelihood of whole communities, governments like India and Vietnam should set out to educationally reform the thinking of these many poaching tribes.
Facts: Tiger body parts and medicine
Endangered Tigers: An Introduction
The tiger is the largest species in the cat family. It's size can reach up to 3.3 meters (11 feet) and 660 pounds with the biggest sub-species as the Siberian tigers (males).
Many wildlife preservation groups exists like WWF Global dedicated in helping the 13 countries with endangered tiger populations to stop the hunting and skinning of tigers but something more needs to be done to stop this crisis which might lead to the extinction of ALL the tiger subspecies.
Since Ancient times, the lands of the Far East was considered the pinnacle of Empire expansions. Not since the era of Alexander the Great has a Western conqueror tread his boots on the land of the mystical subcontinent known as, India. However, with the rise of the Roman Empire in the first century B.C., Rome has expanded into the far reaches of the Western World bordering Asia. With that came trade and commerce. Rome was said to import many species like rhinos, elephants, lions, and even tigers.
Many were used inhumanely in gladiator fights where many of them died of brutal treatment and even killed in the fights.
Those were times when the big cat populations were plentiful. The legendary comparison between the lion and the tiger has been put to the test many times throughout history to see which cat would win the ultimate fight. Many tigers have died trying or sometimes won and even to this day the answer has still not been solved.
With the emergence of the British Empire, the Union Jack soon flew over Delhi, India in 1858.
Tiger hunting on elephants became a popular sport by the colonizers. Many participated in the sport including the Prince of Wales Edward VII. The skinned furs became prized positions similar to that of trophies today and they costed fortunes at auctions.
The tiger soon became a trademark of colonial India.
Today, the tiger is still considered one of the most prized hunting trophies for hunters all around the world. Although the selling and exchange of it's valuable fur and bones are outlawed in many countries like India and China, black markets still exist that sells these different body parts of the tiger.
Included with hunting the tigers themselves, humans have begun to move into their preferred habitats. Cutting down trees, polluting the air, water and even hunting the prey that they depend on the most all contributes to the critical endangerment status tigers hold today.
Of the eight tiger subspecies which exist in the beginning of the 20th century, only five remain. They are the: Bengal, Indo-Chinese, South China, Sumatran and Siberian tigers.
The latest to be extinct is the Javan tiger; a subspecies of tiger found only on the island group of Java in the South Western Pacific ocean.
Considered one of the mightiest creatures on the Asian continent, these magnificent beasts are now considered an endangered species due to illegal poaching and serious harm to it's natural habitats and ecosystem.
For Centuries, superstition has surrounded the use of the tiger's body parts for use in the creation of medicine. For example, their claws are made into necklaces to protect children from the "evil eye".
Most important are their bones which get grounded up into dust and then soaked in alcohol for hours on end.
The wine, also known as "The Forbidden Wine" due to it's illegal status for owning or purchasing is said to have the power to remedy muscle pain, rheumatism, arthritis and paralysis.
Some even argue that it stimulates blood flow and qi a Chinese word translated "Life Force".
According to recent studies on the production and distribution of illegal products, The People's Republic of China ranks #1 in the consumption of tiger products even though many other countries like Taiwan, Vietnam and even the U.S. is not innocent of the crime.
"Here you are drinking something that is dead and making a species to become extinct, believing it will restore life in yourself."-Andrea Heydlauff Vice President of Panthera.
Experts estimated that in the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 100,000 tigers living in the wild.
Estimates of demographs in 2011 suggest a much lower number between 3,200 and 3,500 still living in isolated habitats due to illegal and legal loggings which lead to the fragmentation of their hunting ranges.
To achieve this, many tiger populated countries have set up animal reserves just for endangered species like the tiger. But there is a huge problem with this strategy. Due to huge areas of wildlife, it is easy for poachers to come in and break the law for large amounts of money.
As long as there are demands for tiger body parts, there will always be high incentive to risk breaking the law. To combat this, wildlife experts must cooperate with international governments to strengthen enforcement laws to stop the hunting of this endangered species.
In addition, the personnel and staffs on the ground manning the reserve parks must be legally empowered and adequately equipped to enforced these laws in the event that poaching of the tigers happen anywhere in the reserved parks.
Schools led by wildlife experts of today should spread the awareness of the dangers in hunting a species into extinction.
They should be taught that the extinction of a top predator would greatly harm the environment of a whole natural ecosystem of a country. This would not only harm wildlife diversity, it can even harm society itself.
To compensate for the absence of tigers to hunt, the settlements could be given economic aid provided by the international community who are working tirelessly to preserve the few wildlife habitats left in the jungle of urban centers.
Again, the main reason why the tigers are hunted is because of it's "important" ingredients to oriental medicine.
A great solution in preventing the demands for tiger parts is by researching and finding alternative herbal medicines to replace these once mythical eye and newt witchcraft potions.
There are over 80,000 existing herbal elixirs to cure many different types of illness. Many of these can easily replace tiger parts as cures for many sicknesses.
For example: the teeth of tigers are used to treat fevers. An alternative would be anemarrhena rhizome and bamboo leaves.
The eyeball of tigers are used to treat epilepsy and malaria. Alternative cures could be Chinese senegar roots for epilepsy; wormwood and artemesia for malaria.
Roberts, Adams. "Fighting For the Tigers" Britannica Advocacy for Animals. December 22, 2008. <http://advocacy.britannica.com/blog/advocacy/2008/12/fighting-for-tigers/>
Roy, Silva. "Endangered Tigers". The Buzzle. December 27, 2011. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/endangered-tigers.html
Buckley, Ralph. "India's Tiger Tourism Ban." Slate Articles. October 21, 2012. <http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2012/10/india_s_tiger_tourism_ban_endangered_species_rely_on_tourism_dollars.html>
Slide 1 pictures sources: Google Image, Wikipedia, and National Geographic "Endangered Species" article <http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/siberian-tiger/>
Slide 2 Picture Sources: Google Image, The Functional Hermit Word Press. <http://functionalhermit.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/gladiator-tiger.jpg>
Graph/Chart Source: WWF International <http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/tigers/about_tigers/tiger_population/>
Source of Map: Solar Navigator.net <http://www.solarnavigator.net/animal_kingdom/mammals/tigers.htm>