As we write we believe there are 3,890 tigers alive in the wild. This is something of a victory for tiger conservation, following a century in which the tiger population declined by 95%.
Back in 2010, there were only 3,200 tigers and 13 countries committed to doubling the world’s wild tigers by 2022. This conservation effort—known as Tx2 has resulted in the first rise in population in over a hundred years.
But we cannot rest. More work is constantly needed to protect this vulnerable species from extinction. Every single increase in the population number matters.
Where are we now?
what YOU need to know to help keep Tiger populations growing.
First, know your tiger facts:
The largest of all the Asian big cats, tigers rely primarily on sight and sound rather than smell for hunting.
They typically hunt alone and stalk prey.
A tiger can consume up to 88 pounds of meat at one time.
On average, tigers give birth to two to four cubs every two years.
If all the cubs in one litter die, a second litter may be produced within five months.
Tigers generally gain independence at two years of age and attain sexual maturity at age three or four for females and at four or five years for males.
Juvenile mortality is high however,—about half of all cubs do not survive more than two years.
Tigers have been known to reach up to 20 years of age in the wild.
Males of the largest subspecies, the Amur (Siberian) tiger, may weigh up to 660 pounds. For males of the smallest subspecies—the Sumatran tiger, the upper range is at around 310 pounds.
Within each subspecies, males are heavier than females.
Individual tigers have a large territory, and the size is determined mostly by the availability of prey. Individuals mark their domain with urine, feces, rakes, scrapes, and vocalizing.
Across their range, tigers face unrelenting pressures from poaching, retaliatory killings and habitat loss (currently only 7% of their territory on earth still exists). They are forced to compete for space with dense and often growing human populations. There is also illegal tiger trade, poaching, climate change and the domestic pet industry—there are an estimated 5,000 tigers living in captivity in the United States. All these factors need to be understood if effective tiger conservation lies in the future.
The State of the Tiger Conservation Union in 2018