Single Vision: Protecting Our Vanishing Wild
Survival of the Wild Tiger
The survival of the tiger hangs in the balance. Its surviving population exists only as a pathetic remnant of a once prolific species. Once represented by eight subspecies roaming freely throughout Asia, tigers numbered in the hundreds of thousands. Today however, due to the enormous destruction of wild places within the past hundred years, three subspecies have become extinct, and the world’s population of wild tigers has declined to less than five thousand.
We Must Realize Extinction is Forever!
Hunting and illegal poaching have also had devastating effects. Tiger body parts are still of great value and an integral part of a traditional system of medicine practiced in many Asian cultures. (What happens to the tiger’s body parts is disturbing to read. You have been warned.) We must also realize that Tigers won’t ultimately survive until they are worth more alive than dead!
Siberian Tigers: Tigers in Crisis
It is estimated the wild population of Siberian tigers at around 350-450 tigers. Almost all wild Siberian tigers live the Southeast corner of Russia in the Sikhote-Alin mountain range east of the Amur River. Their former range included northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula, and as far west as Mongolia. They are the largest of the tiger species and can grow up to 13 feet in length and weigh up to 700 lbs.
The Siberian –or Amur- tiger is considered a critically endangered species with the primary threats to its’ survival in the wild being poaching and habitat loss from intensive logging and development.
Tigers are most commonly poached for their fur and for their body parts used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is estimated that in 1991 alone, one-third of the Siberian tiger population was killed to meet the demand for their bones and other parts used in this practice. This even though the practice is now unlawful in China.
In 1993 the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued a notice declaring the use of tiger bone for medicinal purposes to be illegal. The Chinese government encouraged the Ministry of Public Health and the pharmaceutical companies to seek substitute medicines for tiger parts.
However, because it is such a lucrative trade –a single tiger can bring up to $50k on the International market- the practice is still flourishing.
The other vital concern for the survival of the Siberian tiger in the wild is habitat loss.
Research has demonstrated the Siberian tigers require vast forest landscapes to survive. However logging, both legal and illegal is threatening the tigers home by fragmenting their habitat thereby isolating them from each other. In addition, the continuous creation of new logging roads provide poachers with access to formerly remote areas.
So in essence, for the Siberian tiger to survive in the wild, and no longer be considered and endangered species, two things must happen. First, habitat encroachment must stop and secondly, the thousands of years old tradition of using tiger parts for medicinal purposes must also end.
Bruiser is a Syrian Brown Bear and is sadly one of the very last of his kind. Habitat destruction and poaching have virtually eliminated this subspecies in the wild and Single Vision is committed to providing a safe, forever home to this lovable bear.
Organizations we Support
- Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
- World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
- Worldwide Fund for Nature
- Save the Tiger Fund of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund
- 21st Century Tiger: a consortium of Global Tiger Patrol
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES)
- And the Endangered Species Act!