Conservationists say there are just 3,200 tigers left in the world...
The world population of tigers has fallen by 95 per cent in the past century.
Demand for their skins, still regarded as luxury items in some countries, has left them at the mercy of poachers who have increasingly targeted the animals. The threat is compounded by the market for their body parts, which are deemed to hold medicinal properties in some cultures.
Poachers also hunt many species which are tigers’ prey, diminishing their natural food supply, and forcing them to attack farmers’ livestock instead.
At the same time, destruction of forests for timber, agriculture and road building has forced tigers into ever smaller areas where they are increasingly vulnerable.
Of its nine main subspecies, three – the Bali, Caspian and Java tigers – are now extinct, while there has been no reliable siting of a fourth, the South China tiger, for 25 years.
Only the Bengal, Amur, Indo-Chinese, Sumatran and Malayan tigers remain but their the numbers have been reduced to a few hundred per species, save the Bengal and Indo-Chinese.
2 days ago