But now, in the 21st Century, the tiger is faced with the possibility of ending its days as a wild animal.
The last 100 years have been cruel, the wild tiger population has decreased by more than 95%. The
habitat that the animal has reigned as the top predator has been reduced by nearly 95%. The
correlation between habitat loss and tiger numbers is a statement about man. A huge chunk of the
planet has been altered and the tiger, as well as countless other species, is gone from those areas.
The future of the wild tiger, after all this time, will be decided by another species, humans. We have
managed to influence and manipulate our environment to a degree where many other species are solely
at the mercy of our actions. Through science, technology, religion and philosophy we have managed to
create a situation where we have affected the earth so much there now seems to be a conflict with
nature. While other species have already perished at our hand, the tiger has now become the flagship
for threatened species.
The tiger is now the test for human will to maintain vast areas of jungle and forest, areas critical to the
health of the planet and the health of many living species, including humans.
So now the charisma of the tiger is not just about its beauty, grace, and power. It is not just about our
fears, our reverence, our love of nature, our connection to the earth. The charisma of the tiger is now
very much about ourselves, our ability to do the right thing regarding the world we live in.
So for all the questions about ecology, extinction, the health of our world, the quality of our existence,
maybe it also boils down to a question of legacy.
Do we really want to be remembered as the generations who ended the wild tiger and changed our
|THE GREAT CATS OF ASIA
South China Tiger
Tiger Mythology & Culture
The Tiger Today
Why the Tiger must be protected
THE SNOW LEOPARD
THE CLOUDED LEOPARD
THE ASIATIC LION