Why do tigers have stripes?
They don’t want to be spotted!
It’s International Tiger Day! These elusive big cats are a favorite among animal lovers. Their beauty and fierce personality have captivated people for decades. Tiger populations around the globe have led them to become well-known symbols of passion, strength, and power. Nevertheless, their numbers continue to dwindle in various locations. International Tiger Day brings awareness to this serious topic.
Did you know that while there is only one tiger species, there are nine different subspecies?
Here’s a little information on each big cat:
- Siberian tiger: This tiger is known by names such as the Manchurian or Amur tiger. These animals are native or northern Asia, but once spanned across a much larger area. They are the largest of the tiger species when in managed care. They are critically endangered.
- Bengal tiger: These cats are native to India. With a recessive gene, they can be white or even a cream color. Bengal tigers are the most-known tiger subspecies. They are considered endangered by the IUCN.
- South China tiger: There is little evidence as to wild populations of this species, and many consider them to be functionally extinct. However, the remaining South China tigers are found in captivity. They are listed as critically endangered.
- Sumatran tiger: Sumatran tigers are the smallest tiger subspecies and reside on the island of Sumatra. They are considered a critically endangered species.
- Indo-Chinese tiger: These tigers were nearly poached to extinction. They live in remote and mountainous terrain, which makes them difficult to observe and study. This means that there is little research about them. They are listed as endangered by the IUCN.
- Malayan tiger: These cats were only considered a separate breed of the Indo-Chinese tiger in the early 2000s. They are of smaller stature and found in tropical and subtropical forests. They are listed as an endangered species.
The Caspian, Bali, and Javan tigers are now extinct.
How can we help?
These wonderful animals are on the brink of extinction. They face the threat of habitat loss, pollution, prey loss, disease, and more. We are able to witness the beauty of these animals in our lifetime. Future generations should also have the opportunity to do so. One way that we can help is to keep tabs on their health. Tiger health is the first step to overcoming this important issue.
On the other hand, zoo and wildlife studies have little to no funding. Zoo and wildlife veterinarians need your help to save tigers and other animals from extinction.
Want to help save endangered species?