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Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week June 20-24

Born Free USA’s third annual Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week, June 20-24 was started with the goal of taking care of wild animals not just around the world but in your own back yards!  Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA, says the goal of Keep Wildlife in the Wild Week, is to get people to stop, think and take action.

Small steps can lead up to making a big difference. In my backyard, you might already know that we  try our best to take care of Bossy Backyard Blue Jay and all of the birds that gather and live around our habitat.  We provide food and water, and we have trees and shrubs for shelter. We are also super lucky to have squirrels, rabbits, opossum, white tail deer, the occasional raccoon and last winter there might even have been a bobcat track through our yard. We  live in an area surrounded by neighbors that love wildlife as much as we do.

What isn’t so lucky is the wild tiger.  There are more wild tigers in captivity in the United States than there are in the wild.  Occupying a mere 6% of their original territory, the tiger faces the possibility of following the pug marks of the ghosts of the Balinese, Caspian and Javan subspecies into extinction. The South China subspecies is already extinct in the wild. The remaining, Amur (Siberian), Bengal, Indo-Chinese (including Malayan), and Sumatran subspecies only have an estimated 1000 breeding females in total.

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Tigers Need You!

The wild tiger’s shrinking numbers are due to habitat loss caused by human encroachment, poaching fueled by greed, and starvation from lack of prey.  Wild tigers need plenty of room to roam and the tiger’s contiguous territory is shrinking.  Human populations and economic expansion has led to the razing of tiger habitats for plantations, mines and other agriculture. Over development by humans has left the tiger population in fragmented groups, leading to smaller genetic units with limited availability of prey animals.  The tigers caught in these tiny territories are the most vulnerable to the most pressing threat; poaching.

To make matters worse, the increasing captive tiger population camouflages the severity of the wild tiger crisis. So many captive tigers estimated at over 5000 in the United States alone, may make it hard for the average person to fathom that tigers are at risk in the wild.


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