The Siberian Tiger is on the critically endangered species list, with only an estimated 350-400 of these beautiful, magnificent creatures left alive, roaming in their own native habitat…I recently posted a blog about the dangers of polar bears becoming extinct due to the massive reduction of the polar ice caps, their natural habitat, due to greenhouse gas emissions…
The Siberian tiger also seems to be on it’s way to extinction, but for definitely different reasons, the main one seems to be from intensive logging, development and poaching by their only natural enemy, mankind, who are subsidizing their own marginal existence by killing the tigers for their skins and body parts…I recently read a heart rending story in National Geographic about how they rescued a tiger cub left alone in the wilderness because it’s mother, fiercely protective, was apparently shot and killed by poachers….
The forest service rangers were able to rescue this particular cub, and using a system of isolating it from human contact, administering to the medical trauma of near starvation and having to amputate the tip of it’s frost bitten tail because of prolonged exposure to the frigid Siberian wilderness, this particular cub in the National Geographic article was eventually nursed back to health, tagged, collared and released back into it’s natural habitat successfully…
This was one of the rare success stories involving these beautiful, yet fragile species…The tracking device on the collar of this rescued cub, now full grown and healthy, indicated that she had fund and hooked up with a male tiger and was living a normal life in the extremely harsh conditions of her native habitat, a true success story!
According to my Google sources: “It is estimated the wild population of Siberian tigers at around 350-450 tigers. Almost all wild Siberian tigers live the Southeast corner of Russia in the Sikhote-Alin mountain range east of the Amur River. Their former range included northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula, and as far west as Mongolia.
They are the largest of the tiger species and can grow up to 13 feet in length and weigh up to 700 lbs. The Siberian –or Amur- tiger is considered a critically endangered species with the primary threats to its’ survival in the wild being poaching and habitat loss from intensive logging and development.
Tigers are most commonly poached for their fur and for their body parts used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is estimated that in 1991 alone, one-third of the Siberian tiger population was killed to meet the demand for their bones and other parts used in this practice. This even though the practice is now unlawful in China…However, because it is such a lucrative trade –a single tiger can bring up to $50k on the International market- the practice is still flourishing!
The other vital concern for the survival of the Siberian tiger in the wild is habitat loss. Research has demonstrated the Siberian tigers require vast forest landscapes to survive. However logging, both legal and illegal is threatening the tigers home by fragmenting their habitat, thereby isolating them from each other. In addition, the continuous creation of new logging roads provide poachers with access to formerly remote areas.”
So in essence, for the Siberian tiger to survive in the wild, and no longer be considered an endangered species, two things must happen. First, habitat encroachment must stop and secondly, the thousands of years old tradition of using tiger parts for medicinal purposes must also end….These are formidable requirements.”
Again, according to my Google sources, “A robust majority of Americans supports the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and are more likely to vote for a member of Congress who votes to uphold environmental safeguards, according to a new poll conducted by Tulchin Research.
These poll results arrive as the U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Department of the Interior spending bill which includes more than 25 anti-environmental “riders”, including political attacks that undermine the Endangered Species Act and block vital species protections.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:
“Congress is on the wrong side of public opinion on this issue. The vast majority of Americans strongly believe in upholding the Endangered Species Act and that’s what they want their elected officials to do. But that’s not what is happening.
What we are witnessing in Congress today is a full-fledged attack on our bedrock environmental laws – the Endangered Species Act, The Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. We need a Congress that puts the best interests of the American public before the wishes of polluters and special interests.”
And guess what? Our old friends, the Republican oil interests are weighing in against these humane and sensible efforts to extract even MORE profits for their masters, the soulless 1%!
Trip Van Noppen, President of Earthjustice, issued the following statement:
“Congress passed the Endangered Species Act with an overwhelming bipartisan majority more than 40 years ago. And an overwhelming majority of Americans continue to support the goals of this vital law. This Congress is obviously listening to Big Oil and other special interests – not the American public – in its mad dash to deny protections for endangered species.”
So it is up to us, the American voters, to continue to apply pressure to these political right wing dinosaurs (who in a fair world should themselves be extinct) from endangering any more animal species to the point of extinction…
We need to speak out and donate our time, energy and money to support those groups listed above who are defending these otherwise helpless species like the Siberian tiger…Please do your part, and at least we can sleep with a clear conscience at night…Unlike the insatiably greedy industrialist politicians who care about nothing more than the all mighty dollar…
Tigers if left alone are no threat to man, while man is very much a threat to the tigers…What kind of world do we want to leave to our children and grandchildren anyway? As the English poet William Blake once wrote,
“Tiger, tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?”
Leave the tigers be tigers, let them be wild and free!