> An endangered species
> The biggest feline
dimarts, 23 de febrer de 2010
In the traditional Chinese calendar, years are given the name of an animal. A few days ago we began the Year of the Tiger, an animal that symbolises the values of power, authority, courage and a fighting spirit.
To coincide with the Year of the Tiger (which started on 14 February in our Gregorian calendar), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has launched the Tx2 campaign, which aims to double the number of tigers in the wild between now and 2022, the next Year of the Tiger.
The tiger is a threatened species. According to the WWF, the population of tigers in the wild currently stands at some 3,200, while there were 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. Therefore, the population of the species has decreased considerable over the last century.
WWF is part of the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), comprising some 40 organisations that have come together to fight for the same cause: to prevent the extinction of the wild tiger.
An endangered species
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which draws up the Red List of Threatened Species, has confirmed that the tiger is under threat. The IUCN distinguishes between six subspecies of tiger: the Amur Tiger (commonly known as the Siberian Tiger), the Northern Indochinese Tiger, the Malayan Tiger, the Sumatran Tiger, the Bengal Tiger, and the South China Tiger; the latter may now be extinct, as there have been no sightings in the last 40 years. Three other subspecies are now considered to be extinct: the Bali Tiger, the Javan Tiger and the Caspian Tiger.
+ Today tigers only occupy 7% of their former habitat.
Poaching is one of the main threats to the survival of tigers. Tiger parts (particularly bones) have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least the last 1,000 years, and continue to be used, despite an international ban on trading in tigers and a ban in China since 1993. Another threat is the reduction of the tiger's habitat, as a result of the spread of agriculture, commercial logging, construction and road building. According to the WWF, the tiger's habitat has decreased by 45% in the last ten years.
The biggest feline
Tigers are carnivorous mammals with reddish fur and wide, dark stripes. These agile, solitary animals are formidable predators, which hunt alone at night. The tiger is the largest of all the big cats, larger than the lion, the leopard and the jaguar. The Siberian Tiger, the largest of the subspecies, is 3 metres long and can weigh up to 300 kilograms.
> Dades bàsiques sobre el tigre.
> Distribució de la població de tigres.
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