What Is Tiger Conservation?

B. Miller

Tiger conservation refers to national and international efforts to protect tigers around the world. Tigers are classified as an endangered species as a result of poaching and human encroachment on their habitats, so there are a number of nonprofit organizations working to protect the remaining tiger population, and ideally, to help it rebound. This takes place in a number of ways, from the development of international laws and treaties, to advocating for stricter punishments for poachers, to permanently protecting tiger habitat through land-use agreements. Despite these tiger conservation efforts, the tiger population continues to suffer, so many organizations are trying to develop more ideas to protect the tiger.

Tiger conservation is a worldwide effort to protect tigers from becoming extinct.
Tiger conservation is a worldwide effort to protect tigers from becoming extinct.

There are a number of reasons that tigers have become an endangered species, requiring tiger conservation efforts. Tigers have long inspired a deep primal fear in humans, and in the past this fear has led to widespread efforts to exterminate them. Poachers also hunt tigers for their pelts, as well as bones and other organs, which are used in some traditional medicines in certain cultures. In addition, increasing development in tiger habitat areas around the world, such as logging or agricultural development, and even urban expansion, has decreased the area in which tigers have to roam. This increases the likelihood that tigers will encounter humans or livestock, thereby creating a conflict.

Laws making it illegal to hunt tigers or to sell tiger parts are one important aspect of tiger conservation. Some nations have specifically addressed border security and customs, ensuring that tiger parts will not cross the border into other countries, thereby cutting down on what can be sold on the black market. Stricter punishments for people who break those laws are another important aspect of protecting tigers.

Protecting tiger habitat is also important for conservation. Illegal logging is one issue that can be addressed, but many countries now attempt to work with local communities or individuals to create land-use plans that allow for protected tiger habitats as well as tiger corridors. Wildlife corridors like these allow tigers to travel safely in the region without encountering humans.

One additional important aspect of tiger conservation is education. Educating people in regions where tigers live about the importance of protecting tigers, and their significance as part of the ecosystem and for overall biodiversity helps increase understanding. Some nonprofit organizations even host programs to teach people, hunters in particular, what to do if they come upon a tiger in the wild to ensure that everyone makes it out of the situation alive -- including the tiger.

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