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Saving the world - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Saving the world The tiger, whose scientific name is Panthera tigris is the biggest species of the cat family. A typical tiger can reach a total length of up to 11 ft (3.3 m) and weigh up to 675 pounds (306 kg). Tigers are most identifiable by the pattern of dark perpendicular stripes on their reddish-orange fur coupled with a lighter underside…
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Saving the world
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Download file to see previous pages Notably, a vast majority of the tiger population is indigenous to the southeast and far-east Asia (Chundawat et al. 1). Due to continued conflict between tigers and humans, at least three subspecies of tigers are presently extinct while the remaining subspecies are under threat of extinction. In fact, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the remaining six subspecies of tigers as endangered with at least two subspecies being termed as critically endangered and on the brink of extinction (Chundawat et al. 1). Saving tigers is of critical importance since tigers are magnificent creatures, which are renowned for their ferociousness and prowess, and act as a major attraction to the wild scene. Consequently, tigers enhance revenue levels of the tourism industry (Dinerstein 510). The beauty and power inherent in the tiger species is beyond doubt. Tigers play an integral role in maintaining equilibrium in the ecosystem. Tigers are a significant link in the food chain, thus play a crucial environmental role. The tiger is an emblem of wilderness and typifies the well-being of the ecosystem. Therefore, saving tigers is tantamount to conserving the entire wilderness ecosystem. Tigers play a vital role in maintaining the health of the wilderness ecosystem since they represent top carnivores at the peak of the food chain. Consequently, the removal of such a top carnivore from the ecosystem can negatively impact the equilibrium of the ecosystem, for instance, by causing a marked abundance of herbivores within the food chain (Karanth et al. 173). Tigers, alongside other notable carnivores such as lions and leopards act as a pivotal control mechanism for herbivores in the wild. The habitats formerly set aside for tigers have reduced quite dramatically as a result of continued human intervention (Sanderson et al. 2). As a consequence, the global tiger population has diminished dramatically over the course of one century. In most countries, tigers have been hunted for their body parts and skin, which are sold on the international black market. The international trade of tiger parts is presently a multi-billion dollar industry, which extends across all continents. At least one century ago, there were approximately 100,000 wild tigers; however, today, there are only about 3200 wild tigers (IUCN 1). Today, there are more tigers in captivity, for instance, in Texas, than there are wild tigers in their indigenous land (Asia). If the present trend ensues, the tiger population will dwindle and tigers will soon join animals such as mammoths on the extinct species list (Karanth and Sunquist 260). Current conservation efforts targeted at saving tigers are proving to be relatively ineffective since wrong practices such as poaching of tigers continues in the wild. In addition, if efforts to save the species fail, future generations will be unable to appreciate the majesty of these creatures as the only evidence of tigers will be found in museums. Furthermore, if tigers become extinct, they will subtract a significant part of the food chan, ultimately creating a lack of balance in the wild. Saving the existing tiger population is quite feasible, especially considering the urgency with which conservers are seeking and employing innovative ways of saving the species ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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