Tiger tops list of species most at threat of extinction
Monday, January 4, 2010 19:50 IST
London: The World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature has come out with a list of species most at threat of extinction, in which the tiger takes the top spot.
According to a report in the Telegraph, new studies indicate that there may be as few as 3,200 tigers left in the wild.
Tigers occupy less than 7% of their original range, which has decreased by 40% over the past ten years.
Continuing deforestation and rampant poaching could push some tiger populations to the same fate as its now-extinct Javan and Balinese relatives in other parts of Asia.
Tigers are poached for their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine, while skins are also highly prized.
Additionally, sea level rise, due to climate change, threatens the mangrove habitat of a key tiger population in Bangladesh's and India's Sundarbans.
The upcoming Chinese Year of the Tiger, starting in February 2010, will mark an important year for conservation efforts to save wild tigers, with WWF continuing to play a vital role in implementing bold new strategies to save this magnificent Asian big cat.
Others on the list of the most endangered species include the Polar Bear, the Pacific Walrus, the Magellanic Penguin, the Leatherback Turtle, the Bluefin Tuna, the Mountain Gorilla, the Monarch Butterfly, the Javan Rhinoceros, and, the Giant Panda.