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Why tigers are important to us all

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

July 29th is World Tiger Day, it’s also known as Global Tiger Day and International Tiger Day. It’s a day that provides us with a global platform to celebrate, support and reflect on the importance of wild tigers to us all.

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that tigers are awesome. They are one of nature’s most beautiful and powerful creations, but did you know that wild tigers are more – much more – than a thing of beauty? As an ‘umbrella’ species, by protecting wild tigers and their habitats we also protect 1000s of living organisms including ourselves!

tiger walking along a road in the forest

Here’s why they are so important:

  • As apex predators, tigers shape the ecosystems in which they live.
  • They prevent over-grazing by limiting herbivore numbers and maintain ecological integrity.
  • Tigers are solitary and have large home ranges making them excellent ‘umbrella’ species providing space for a variety of other species to flourish.
  • In India, more than 350 rivers originate from tiger reserves. These reserves also sequester carbon, provide oxygen and slowly release ground water to regulate floods.
  • Protecting the tiger will in turn protect these vital habitats.
  • Protecting existing tiger habitats and the reforestation of degraded habitat may help buffer the poorest communities in Asia against the impacts of river siltation and flooding, while providing global benefits.
  • Saving the tiger will help communities and local populations benefit from habitat resources like wood, food, grazing and tourism.
  • Healthy forest habitats help moderate extreme weather events such as cyclone storms and flash floods.

Analysis, carried out by an Indo-Australian team of scientists entitled ‘Making the hidden visible: Economic valuation of tiger reserves in India’ was recently published in the journal Ecosystem Services. The scientists estimated that conserving each wild tiger had a flow value of USD 2.19 million a year.

But, like us, we doubt that you needed to be told how important these fabulous big cats are. Really, what’s not to like!

Thank you again for supporting our work and for helping to champion the plight of wild tigers. Despite being so brilliant these big cats still need us.

You can help keep tigers brilliant by:

  • Donating to support our tiger conservation work here
  • Signing up to ban the trade in tiger parts that is killing wild tigers
  • Telling your friends and family about the importance of tigers by sharing our TigerTime website or this blog with them

Spread the word and help us tell the Tiger’s Tale – help us #KillTheComplacency so that everyone realises exactly what is at stake if the last few thousand tigers on Earth are lost. It is only through our collective actions that the plight of the tiger can be changed.

Happy World Tiger Day.

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