INTERNATIONAL TIGER DAY
International Tiger Day on July 29th raises awareness about the dwindling numbers of the biggest of the big cats. Global leaders focus on the tiger during meetings designed to promote a system for protecting and enhancing their natural habitat.
A hundred years ago,100,000 tigers roamed Asia. Today, the estimated number brings the tiger population to fewer than 4,000 tigers in the wild. One of the goals of the day is to double that number by 2022. It’s called the Tx2 Initiative.
The Tx2 Initiative collects about $350 million every year to help save tigers. The money is spent on investigators and rangers who patrol for poachers. The fund also pays for protection of tiger habitat, studies of their populations and movements, and even sets up thousands of wildlife trail cameras.
Did you know:
- Currently, tigers populate 13 countries where they roam naturally: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Tigers are the largest cat species in the world, and the third-largest carnivore on land; only polar and brown bears are larger. Siberian tigers (the largest subspecies) weigh up to 660 pounds.
- At top speed, tigers clock nearly 40 mph.
- The name of a large wild cat with large black strips comes from the ancient Persian word “taig” meaning fast and sharp.
- Tigers are always on the move. Their turf can be as large as 386 sq miles or 1000 sq km.
- Like other cats, tigers are carnivores, and they are essential to keep their range in an ecological balance. They prey on smaller animals that are herbivores, and so maintain a balance between the plant-eating animals and the vegetation on which they feed.
- An adult tiger consumes up to 88 pounds of meat in one meal.
- The average lifespan of a wild tiger is 10-15 years.
- Unlike most big cats, tigers are powerful swimmers. Not only do they swim, but they also swim great distances to hunt or cross rivers. Young tigers often play in water and adults lounge in streams or lakes to stay cool during the heat of the day.
- Tigers are the only cat species that are entirely striped. When shaved, their skin has the identical stripe as their fur.
- While other cats meow, tigers do not meow. Tiger vocalizations include roaring, growling, hissing, moaning.
HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL TIGER DAY
Be aware of illegal wildlife trade that includes tiger skins, jewelry made from claws and teeth, tiger whiskers, tiger bone wine, tiger meat, and any medicine that contains tiger derivatives.
Adopt a tiger through organizations such as the World Wildlife Federation.
Contribute to campaigns such as National Geo graphic’s “Little Kitties for Big Cats” campaign
Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/InternationalTigerDay
Use #doubletigers and #InternationalTigerDay to follow the day’s conversation on social media.
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL TIGER DAY
International Tiger Day was created in 2010 at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit.
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