Friday, February 20, 2009

Endangered species - 1

Bengal Tiger

We all know that the survival of Tiger and other big cats in India is under threat. Elsewhere, some subspecies of tigers, such as the Caspian, the Java, and the Bali, are thought to be extinct already. At the beginning of the 20th century, about 40,000 tigers roamed India’s forests. Over the years their numbers have dwindled. This is because their habitat has progressively been destroyed and because they have been hunted for their skin and certain bones that are thought to have healing powers in Chinese medicine.

Concerning the effect of the lack of proper habitat on tigers, the book The Secret Life of Tigers says: “Populations of tigers can only increase when the area of forests that they live in increases. When this does not happen, tigers control their own population by fatal disputes among themselves over food and territory.”

How do other wild cats fare on Indian soil? At a zoo in Junagadh, Gujarat, a visitor came across an empty cage. The sign outside the cage had a picture of an Asiatic cheetah and a message written in Gujarati, which read: “The cheetah became extinct in India in the 1950’s.”

Asiatic cheetah are already vanished from Asian soil... at least we can save Tiger and Lion. Save them they are a very important link of wild life and food chain.