The continental tiger is found on the Asian mainland. This subspecies comprises Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese, and Amur tiger populations. The Caspian tiger is extinct in the wild, while the South China tiger is believed to be extinct.
The whole population is estimated only around 3500 tigers
For many decades, tiger populations declined precipitously as a result of habitat loss, poaching, and trade of tiger products. Their numbers reached an all-time low by the mid-2000s. In the last few years, we have been seeing signs of tiger population recovery in India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, and Russia. However, in parts of the mainland, such as Myanmar and Malaysia, tiger numbers may still be declining due to poaching and habitat loss.
The tiger is at the top of the food chain in the wild and plays a critical role in the overall function of the ecosystem. Tigers are also a vital link in maintaining the rich biodiversity of nature. Maintaining tiger habitats also benefits a host of globally important species like Asian elephants, greater one-horned rhino, and Asiatic black bear, among others.
The most immediate threat to the survival of continental tigers is poaching to supply the demand for tiger parts on the black market, especially in China. Despite a global trade ban, the demand for tiger products as status symbols, decorative items, and traditional medicine has increased dramatically, leading to a new poaching crisis. Tiger farms in Thailand, Vietnam, and China perpetuate the demand for tiger products from all sources—including the wild—and contribute to the poaching problem.
A tiger's roar can be heard as far as 3 kilometres
Among other main threats facing tigers belong loss of natural habitat. It is at risk from logging, conversion of forests to agriculture or commercial plantations, and infrastructure development. This habitat fragmentation forces tigers into isolated populations. Tigers also due to reasons witten above suffer in some areas from a severe loss of natural prey like deer, and wild boar and wild cattle. As tigers continue to lose their habitat and prey species, they are increasingly coming into conflict with humans. When they attack domestic animals—and sometimes people—people sometimes retaliate by killing tigers.
Sadly, tigers are on the brink of extinction. Just over a century ago, 100,000 wild tigers roamed across Asia. Today, fewer than 3,900 live in a mere four per cent of their historic range. The largest tiger population can now be found in India, home to half of all remaining wild tigers. Much of this decline has occurred in the past decade.
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