In the last century, tiger numbers fell from 100,000 to 3,200 and they now live in only seven percent of their historical range. If tigers are to survive in the wild, they need massive human intervention.

Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

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    On July 29, 2010, the world first recognized International Tiger Day. International Tiger Day celebrates the biggest of the “big cats” and raises awareness about their status as an endangered species.
     
    Tigers are among the most threatened of big cats. Fewer than 4,000 tigers survive in the wild, most of them in pockets of protected land areas in Southeast Asia and Russia’s far east. Poaching and loss of habitat are among the biggest threats to the world’s tiger population. Loss of habitat is mostly due to climate change and agricultural and industrial development.
     
    International Tiger Day was founded at the International Tiger Summit, held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The goal of the summit was to double the wild tiger population by 2022. People can encourage tiger conservation by supporting government initiatives to establish tiger preserves. They can also raise awareness by contributing to campaigns such as National Geographic’s Little Kitties for Big Cats—support tigers, lions, and other big cats and show off your own pet at the same time!
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    big cat Noun

    large predators, including tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    Encyclopedic Entry: climate change
    conservation Noun

    management of a natural resource to prevent exploitation, destruction, or neglect.

    Encyclopedic Entry: conservation
    development Noun

    construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.

    endangered species Noun

    organism threatened with extinction.

    Encyclopedic Entry: endangered species
    establish Verb

    to form or officially organize.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    habitat Noun

    environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

    Encyclopedic Entry: habitat
    initiative Noun

    first step or move in a plan.

    poach Verb

    to hunt, trap, or fish illegally.

    population Noun

    total number of people or organisms in a particular area.

    preserve Noun

    an area restricted for the protection and preservation of natural resources

    protected land area Noun

    area where development projects are controlled or limited.

    recognize Verb

    to identify or acknowledge.

    status Noun

    position of something in relation to related things.

    summit Noun

    meeting or conference of top leaders.

    survive Verb

    to live.

    threaten Verb

    to scare or be a source of danger.