Tigers are often known to be some of the most beautiful and charismatic mammals on Earth but, unfortunately, land development and poachers have made massive contributions to the depletion of the tiger population.

A hundred years ago, 100,000 tigers were witnessed to roam across all over Asia, but now only 3,000 survive in the wild. They play a very pivotal role in sustaining the biodiversity of forests, maintaining healthy ecology, the conservation of habitats as well as the livelihoods of rural communities.

Since the past century, we have seen a 95% reduction in the tiger population owing to poaching, habitat loss, man to animal conflict and tiger to tiger conflict. They’re not only hunted for their meat and skins but their bones, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The biggest threat being confronted by the tigers is habitat loss. As a loss of habitat occurs, the number of wild animals, also preys, reduces which means they sometimes turn to domestic livestock for food. That makes them unpopular with ranchers who view them as a threat and may shoot them.

Our country is unique in possessing a large number of tigers, however, their kind is either being completely eliminated or is on the brink of elimination. This makes me especially sad, because they’re not only one of the most majestic animals but also my favourite animals. It is our collective responsibility of promoting the protection and expansion of their habitats and play an active role in creating awareness about the declining tiger population. If we fail to fulfil that responsibility, then the rate of tiger extinction is likely to increase and our next generations may not be able to look at tigers in real life. Governments all over the world must try to put in more efforts to improve the arrangements to conserve the international pride – the tiger.

ZEESHAN NASIR,

Turbat, November 7.