The Tiger, Panthera tigris, is listed as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The largest of all cats was once known throughout central, eastern and southern Asia, but currently survives only in scattered populations.
The Caspian, the Java and the Bali tiger are already extinct, and of the remaining six subspecies, the South China tiger has not been observed for many years. India has still the largest national population, about 1,400 tigers, but split into many small occurrences. No more than about 3,200 wild tigers live roam free. Poaching and illegal killing are the major threats to the survival of the remaining populations, but habitat loss and overhunting of tigers and their natural prey species have caused a reduction of the distribution to only seven percent of the historic range.
The key to this species’ survival is the immediate and severe protection of the remaining populations, and, in the long run, the maintenance or recovery of large tracts of habitat and corridors, and the sustainable management of prey population. This is only possible by mitigating the conflicts between local people and tiger conservation.