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tige threats

Threats to Habitat

One of the greatest threats to tigers is the destruction of natural habitat. Human population growth, urbanization, and the globalization of industry and trade are putting tiger habitat under pressure and in competition with other land-use priorities. In increasing numbers tigers are being driven from their domains, their hunting patterns disturbed, their prey base depleted and their breeding grounds destroyed.

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Threats by Poaching and Trade

threat by poaching and tradeHistory has shown that hunting and the illegal poaching and sale of wild tigers not only causes tremendous suffering for individual animals but has pushed the species to the brink of extinction. Many hunted tiger populations that once numbered in the thousands are now critically endangered or extinct.

The reality today is that a skyrocketing demand for black-market animal parts, which has spawned sophisticated global networks of poachers, smugglers, and dealers, is making tiger protection increasingly difficult and dangerous. The temptation of ever-increasing profits, combined with a lack of enforcement and monitoring capability in many nations, very often leads to cruel, wasteful, and indiscriminate levels of killing.

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Threats by Traditional Medicines

Traditional Medicine (TM) has a global impact on wildlife, people, and the environment we share. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 4.8 billion people -- 80 percent of the world's population -- use traditional medicines as their primary form of health care.

The widespread and growing popularity of TM threatens the survival of tigers, rhinoceroses, bears, seahorses and other endangered species historically used in these traditional formulations.

In 1999, the global market in traditional medicines was estimated to be a US$20 billion business. Europe spent approximately US$7 billion on herbal remedies in 1999; North America spent US$3.8 billion; and Asian nations spent US$5.1 billion.

Since then, the popularity of alternative medicine, as measured by the utilization of natural products, has grown exponentially throughout the world.

In addition, dramatic growth in E-commerce has augmented the availability of traditional medicines by creating new and increasingly accessible avenues of availability. The increased availability of TM products that contain endangered animal parts and herbs has a sizeable impact on tiger populations.

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In 1998, the Year of the Tiger, the plight of the tiger captured the world's attention. Through the telling of this tale of a magnificent animal at risk, the tiger has come to symbolize the threat of extinction. We cannot wait until the next Year of the Tiger in 2010 to discover the disappearance of the tiger in the wild.

The imminent extinction of the tiger is particularly significant because it is humans that pose the only threat to this species.

In the end, it will be humans who are responsible, knowingly or not, for the fate of the tiger.

tiger, big cat, save the tiger organizationThe lesson of the tiger is relevant to all wildlife, because the health and well being of all species depend upon the actions of humans.

Today, many other wild animals are threatened by commercial exploitation, inhumane treatment, and habitat loss and degradation. These are the same perils that have secured the tiger's fate in the history.

If the tiger is forgotten, many other species will not survive for future generations. What will you do to help today?

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